“Taylor, I knew looking in your eyes that first time on stage with us, you had ‘it,’” Chesney wrote on Wednesday. “The hunger, that something special… A gift not everyone has to connect. It’s been awesome watching you shine! Congratulations on being @TIME’s Person of the Year.”
He continued: “I’m glad TIME sees what I’ve always loved about your music, your art and you as a human being. I’m so proud of you and I love you.”
In Time’s profile of Swift, which published Wednesday, the singer told a story about getting booted off Chesney’s tour after a beer company sponsored it, since she wasn’t old enough.
“I was devastated,” Swift told Time.
But a few months later, Chesney’s promoter handed Swift a card from Chesney with a note and a check in it to make up for Swift not being able to tour with him.
“It was for more money than I’d ever seen in my life,” Swift said. “I was able to pay my band bonuses. I was able to pay for my tour buses. I was able to fuel my dreams.”
Swift went on to duet with Chesney during one of his 2015 concerts, singing his song “Big Star.”
Chesney told Time: “She was a writer who had something to say. That isn’t something you can fake by writing clichés. You can only live it, then write it as real as possible.”