Elizabeth Scarborough has been playing music as her favorite artist since the age of 15

By Kelli Bender
April 13, 2015 08:30 PM
Courtesy Elizabeth Scarborough; Getty

Elizabeth Scarborough knows the words to nearly every Taylor Swift song, and she is putting them to good use.

Since the age of 15, the University of South Carolina student has been performing as a Taylor Swift tribute artist, reports USA Today.

Scarborough, 21, performs Swift’s hits at birthday parties, senior centers and large events dressed like the kitty-loving songstress.

Singing as Swift has been a success for Scarborough, who shares plenty of physical similarities with the “Blank Space” singer. The student spent last summer performing as Swift as part of the Legends in Concert series in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. After finishing school this year, Scarborough will return to Legends in Concert, this time to tour North America.

“I loved her songs and her message so much that when I was 15, after her second album came out, I picked up one of my brother’s guitars,” she told USA Today. “I said, ‘Can you teach me how to play “Love Story”?’ There were just four chords I learned – D, A, E minor and G. That’s really, I think, what started all this.”

From there, Scarborough borrowed a guitar from church and styled it to look like Swift’s famous diamond guitar. Soon she was playing the songs she was rapidly learning during recess, carnivals and at children’s birthday parties, where she was paid $30 a gig. Thanks to her dedication to researching Swift’s style, Scarborough’s gigs have only grown bigger.

“She’s very calm and collected,” Scarborough said on her love for Swift. “She chooses her words wisely. What she will say or how she might phrase something, the tone she will use or even how she will incorporate body language to convey a message that she wants to get across are all things I’ve taken note of for so long.

Scarborough, a public relations major, is looking forward to seeing where her Swift act will take her, but doesn’t plan on being a tribute artist her whole life. Her goal is to make it to Vegas “the mecca for tribute artists in the United States” before saying goodbye to her famous alter ego.

“I think she’s breaking boundaries and creating a new genre,” Scarborough said of Swift. “That gives me the opportunity as a tribute artist to do a lot of different things. In the meantime, I am learning a lot. I am a brand that I’m selling to different venues, different people, different shows, different companies, just like any freelance artist would.”

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