Asked to rank her year on a scale of one to 10, Meghan Trainor doesn’t hesitate: “This is the year I won a Grammy, right?” says the 2016 best new artist with a laugh. “Ten!” Since the smash success of her “All About That Bass” (a Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 for eight weeks), Trainor has duetted with Harry Styles and John Legend, co-written charting hits for Jennifer Lopez (“Ain’t Your Mama”) and Fifth Harmony (“Sledgehammer”), and, most recently, released her second album, Thank You, which peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 on the strength of brassy lead single “No,” Trainor’s fourth Hot 100 top 10 hit. “Growing up, I remember I always wanted to be 22,” says Trainor. “Now I am. I’ve finished a tour and sold out every show; got a Grammy; I have an amazing new boyfriend [actor Daryl Sabara]. For some reason, I knew this would be my year.”
“When I walk into the studio, the first thing I think is, ‘I’m dealing with this right now, but can I make a male relate to this too? Or a mother?’ When I write about universal concepts, other artists are like fans: ‘Oh, my God, I feel the same way!’ ”
“I’ve been on that American Horror Story grind. But I’m afraid of the dark! I have so many night lights in my room.”
“My boyfriend knows what it’s like to be on a red carpet, to be super hot for a second with everyone talking about you. It’s nice to have someone who actually understands.”
Watch Meghan Trainor talk about making the move from Nashville songwriting to pop and having the courage to sing songs with a message behind them:
?This article originally appeared in the Dec. 10 issue of Billboard. Billboard’s Women In Music event takes place on Dec. 9 in New York City and airs on Lifetime Dec. 12.