Taylor Swift is Time’s 2023 Person of the Year, and in an interview, she opened up about rerecording her music, being canceled in 2016 and her relationship with football player Travis Kelce.
“Make no mistake — my career was taken away from me,” the pop star told Time regarding the backlash she received after Kanye West released his song “Famous,” which contains a lyric referring to Swift, where he raps, “I made that bitch famous.” Swift went on to shade the song in a Grammy acceptance speech, and West’s then-wife Kim Kardashian clapped back by uploading an edited video on Snapchat of Swift seemingly giving West approval of the song. Kardashian’s video set off a social media storm at the time, leading to the trending hashtag #TaylorSwiftIsOverParty.
“You have a fully manufactured frame job, in an illegally recorded phone call, which Kim Kardashian edited and then put out to say to everyone that I was a liar,” she said of the incident which led to her being canceled. “That took me down psychologically to a place I’ve never been before. I moved to a foreign country. I didn’t leave a rental house for a year. I was afraid to get on phone calls. I pushed away most people in my life because I didn’t trust anyone anymore. I went down really, really hard.”
She also shined light on her decision to rerecord her albums, telling the magazine that her dad and Kelly Clarkson encouraged her to rerecord her music after her original master recordings were sold to Scooter Braun, West’s former manager, and a man Swift says wanted the master recordings “for nefarious reasons.”
“I’d run into Kelly Clarkson and she would go, ‘Just redo it,’” Swift told the magazine. “My dad kept saying it to me too. I’d look at them and go, ‘How can I possibly do that?’ Nobody wants to redo their homework if on the way to school, the wind blows your book report away.”
She added: “I respond to extreme pain with defiance.”
Clarkson tweeted Swift in 2019 encouraging her to rerecord her music, writing, “just a thought, U should go in & re-record all the songs that U don’t own the masters on exactly how U did them but put brand new art & some kind of incentive so fans will no longer buy the old versions. I’d buy all of the new versions just to prove a point.” In October, Clarkson told E! News that every time Swift releases a rerecorded album, she sends flowers as a thank you.
“You know what’s so funny? She just sent me flowers,” Clarkson told E! News. “She’s so nice. She did. She was like, ‘Every time I release something’ – ’cause she just did ‘1989.’”
Kelly added: “I love how kind she is… She’s a very smart businesswoman. So, she would have thought of that.”
In the wide-ranging profile, the singer told the magazine that she and Kelce were already a couple when she attended her first Kansas City Chiefs game to see him play. “We would never be psychotic enough to hard launch a first date,” she said.
The musician’s last serious relationship with actor Joe Alwyn was significantly more low-key, considering the two were only photographed together a handful of times during their six-year relationship. Swift told Time that being in a public relationship means “showing up for each other.”
“The opposite of that is you have to go to an extreme amount of effort to make sure no one knows that you’re seeing someone,” she said. “And we’re just proud of each other.”
She also stated she isn’t sure how many times she’s broadcast during the games she’s attended so far and isn’t concerned about the added attention her presence at games brings or if her showing up results in “pissing off a few dads, Brads, and Chads.”
She added, “I’m just there to support Travis.”