Before she became the best-selling act in popular music, Taylor Swift was just a normal teenager. Well, OK, while many 14-year-olds were getting an allowance to do chores around the house, Taylor was getting paid to write songs.

But having a mom and dad who have kept the now-19-year-old grounded during the life-changing events of the past few years has been an important element to Taylor's success -- even if one of them gets a little carried away sometimes.

"My mom is very logical and very practical," Taylor tells the Voice of America. "She is always like, 'Do not, do not get too far ahead of yourself', you know, and, 'One step at a time,' and my dad is just going nuts [very excited] out here, like, handing out guitar picks. 'Hey I am Taylor's dad!' 'Hey, good to meet you!' 'Hey, here is a guitar pick!'"

Taylor also believes that being accessible and treating fans well is just as important as writing great song and putting on a show they'll enjoy. And she's learned from some of the best.

"My role models are people like Garth Books and Faith Hill," she says. "I just love the fact that they are so nice to people, and they are so good to their fans. You know, you grow up and you have your favorite singers. Then when you meet all of them, that list kind of shifts to the people who are great people first and great musicians second. I have always aspired to be a great person first."