If you need proof that London is indeed the best city ever, think about how global superstar Taylor Swift decided to swap her flashy A-list world for the casual London life.
You don’t need to be a huge Swiftie to know how much she loves our beautiful city – her song London Boy shows just how much she likes to spend time walking around Hampstead Heath, Brixton, Hackney and drinking in some of the capital’s many pubs.
In fact, she likes the capital so much it’s where she chose to spend lockdown, living with her boyfriend Joe Alwyn in a £5.5 million rented North London home.
There’s also been reports over the last few years of the songstress house hunting around the capital, looking to add to her huge property portfolio – she already owns places in New York, Rhode Island, Nashville and LA.
According to Page Six, her budget is $30 million, so we reckon she’ll be able to afford pretty much anything in the capital.
But how did this mega-star go from being the name on everyone’s lips and the face on every magazine cover to hiding out in the Spaniards Inn and wandering anonymously through London’s vast parks?
Taylor shot to fame after the release of her second album Fearless (her first, Taylor Swift, is often forgotten), aged just 19, and quickly became a household name, in part due to her exceptional talent but also for her string of famous boyfriends.
Over the years most of her songs were written about her own personal love life – sometimes making the subject very clear (for instance Dear John or Style), other times keeping fans guessing.
As she matured however, the Love Story singer realised that she not only hated the spotlight on her personal life, but that writing about your own life isn’t sustainable.
Still, it certainly didn’t harm her career.
Taylor is famous for her meticulousness in planning albums, leaving clues for fans in album lyric booklets, social media posts and releasing big news on dates that add up to 13, her lucky number.
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This dedication to her art has paid off, with her winning not just hundreds of awards – 395 to be exact – but breaking countless world records, including most American Music Awards won (smashing Michael Jackson’s record), most watched video online in 24 hours, and the most entries for a female artist on the US Billboard Hot 100.
There are loads of iconic moments in Taylor’s decade long career, and one we have to mention is the infamous Kanye West incident that started off a never-ending feud.
Aged just 19, the star won the VMA for Best Female Video thanks to that adorable You Belong With Me video, but Kanye decided to jump on stage and interrupt her speech telling the teen: “Yo, Taylor, I’m really happy for you, and I’m gonna let you finish, but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time.”
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To add insult to injury, Kanye then went on to claim he “made that b*tch famous” and during concerts got the crowd chanting “F*ck Taylor Swift”.
Almost a decade after the incident in 2009, Kanye’s wife Kim Kardashian West took aim at Taylor, calling her a snake and leading to a load of abuse and haters (who gonna hate) posting snake emojis across Taylor’s social media accounts.
In a dramatic turn of events, the singer-songwriter deleted everything. We lost the fun Instagram snaps of the girl squad, her beloved cats and baked goods.
But she, in her own words, came back stronger than a 90s trend.
Then in August 2017 she returned to Instagram – posting a snake.
There was no caption, comments were disabled and she didn’t even have a profile picture, but it was clear something big was coming and Swifties were losing their minds trying to figure it out.
In an incredible lesson to all of us, she turned the abuse into an album, Reputation, which was all about reclaiming her reputation and had fierce lyrics like “I bury hatchets but I keep maps of where I put them”.
Since then we’ve had three more albums – Lover, folklore and evermore – as well as documentary Miss Americana and a virtual ‘concert’, the Long Pond Studio Sessions.
Now fans are being treated to the re-release of Taylor’s older albums after she lost her masters to Scooter Braun, someone she accuses of “incessant, manipulative bullying” – and she’s determined to not let him make any money off her hard work.
We’ve already had the chance to hear the newly recorded Love Story (Taylor’s version), and Taylor’s even told us when the album drops we’ll get six new tracks that weren’t able to be included originally.
There is so much more to tell of the Taylor Swift story, but in the end the only person who could do it justice is Taylor herself.
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