4. The Dixie Chicks were a major influence. 

It's well-known that a LeAnn Rimes concert convinced Taylor Swift that Nashville was the place she belonged. Artists like Faith Hill and Shania Twain also played a big influence, but did you know that the Dixie Chicks were as important to her as any of these? Swift makes a statement with her songs, something Natalie Maines and company were always proud to do. Her music leans more pop than Americana, but it's not difficult to hear the influence.