13 Things Only The Biggest Fans Know About Taylor Swift

After the highly anticipated release of the 2022 album "Midnights" and the Ticketmaster debacle making national news, Taylor Swift's name has been lingering in the spotlight — a phenomenon that certainly isn't unusual for her.

Since her very first album dropped in 2006, Swift has steadily gained a following. Fans immediately fell in love with catchy, relatable hits like "Our Song," "Teardrops On My Guitar," and "Tim McGraw." Close to two decades later, Swift's popularity is still constantly increasing, and she's accumulated nearly 82 million monthly listeners on Spotify alone.

She's one of the most-streamed and best-selling artists of all time, but how much do you really know about the mastermind behind so many of Generation Z's anthems? You may be familiar with some of the better-known facts about Swift — such as her having started out as a country singer and being nearly 6 feet tall — but only the biggest Swifties know some of the more obscure facts. 

She was named after another music legend

In a 2015 interview with Stereogum, singer-songwriter James Taylor, who was especially popular in the 1970s, revealed the origin of Taylor Swift's first name. According to Taylor, "[Swift] told me that her mom and dad had been really, deeply into my music and I got a real kick out of the fact that she'd been named after me. Obviously it wasn't her choice, it was her mom and dad, but nonetheless a great connection I think."

According to Capital FM, Swift's mom, Andrea, wanted her daughter to have a gender-neutral name in order to give her a better shot at having a successful career — and why not choose 'Taylor'? Coincidentally, Swift ended up sharing the stage with her namesake during the final show of her 2011 Speak Now tour, during which the two sang a classic James Taylor hit, "Fire and Rain," as well as Swift's "Fifteen."

When she was younger, Taylor Swift dreamed of working in finance

Like most kids, Taylor Swift once looked to her parents' careers as the greatest inspiration for her future. Her father Scott, a financial planner, especially influenced her goals and ambitions as a child. During a 2011 interview with Youtube Presents, Swift was asked what other career paths she would've gone down had she not become a musical artist, to which she responded, "My dad is a stockbroker — and he lives and breathes it. ... I didn't know what a stockbroker was when I was 8, but I would just tell everybody that's what I was going to be." She added, "I just saw how happy it made him and I just thought, 'I can broke stocks.'"

Swift's father has seemed to inspire his daughter in more ways than just this one, though. In fact, he's inspired Swift so much that she dedicated her very first Album of the Year Grammy award to him, saying, "This is for my dad. Thank you for all those times that you said I could do whatever I wanted in life."

Taylor Swift is a huge Phoebe Waller-Bridge fan

Taylor Swift's healthy (and justified) obsession with actor, screenwriter, and director Phoebe Waller-Bridge was first shared with the world in 2019. She tweeted a section of her interview with Entertainment Weekly, in which she said, "[Waller-Bridge] makes you crack up, shocks you, and breaks your heart all in the span of a few minutes in [Fleabag]." Later that year, Swift had the pleasure of connecting with Waller-Bridge when she performed as the musical guest during her idol's "Saturday Night Live" hosting debut.

In 2020, Swift wrote a lovely letter about Waller-Bridge for TIME's "100 Most Influential People of 2020" article series. In this brief letter, she raved about Waller-Bridge's many projects, celebrating the star's "razor-sharp instincts, killer wit, and genuine care for the people she works with." She also praised Waller-Bridge's for the characters she brings to life. "Phoebe has a habit of creating complex female anti­heroes in a way that seemed previously reserved for male characters," Swift wrote.

Given Swift's songs "Blank Space," "I Did Something Bad," and "Anti-Hero," it's easy to understand why the singer-songwriter would appreciate Waller-Bridge's writing.

She's a godmother to Jaime King's son

Taylor Swift first became friends with "Hart of Dixie" and "White Chicks" star Jaime King in 2014 after the two met at a Golden Globes party (via PopSugar). Soon after, they were spotted attending Elton John's Oscars-viewing party and a Vanity Fair party together, and it was clear that a friendship had quickly blossomed between them.

In a 2014 interview with PopSugar, King revealed that Swift once let her and her family stay in her house for three months while their own was under construction. As a thank you, King gifted Swift a full Le Creuset bakeware set and a year-long subscription to the meal service Plated. "She loves baking, so I knew it was something she would enjoy, and there was really no way to repay her for giving us a home when we were out of ours."

In March 2015, King hinted on Instagram that Swift would be a godmother to her second child, Leo Thames. "I always thought if I were to have another child that she would be the ideal godmother because of the way she not only treats me but the way she treats other human beings," King later told E! News.

The Netflix film Someone Great inspired one of her songs

In a 2019 iHeartRadio interview with Elvis Duran, Taylor Swift shared that one of the songs on her seventh album, "Lover," was inspired by the Netflix film "Someone Great." The film follows a young woman who has just been broken up with by her long-term partner and decides to have one final night out with her two best friends before leaving for a job across the country.

Swift told Duran, "I cried watching the movie. For about a week, I start waking up from dreams that I'm living out that scenario — that that's happening to me. ... I'd have these lyrics in my head based on the dynamics of these characters, and I went in the studio with Jack [Antonoff]." There, she recorded "Death By A Thousand Cuts." 

Coincidentally, the director of "Someone Great," Jennifer Kaytin Robinson, was inspired by one of Swift's songs when creating the film. "In the fall of 2014 when I was a certifiable basket case wandering around LA in pajamas heartbroken over the boy I'd left behind in New York, 1989 was there like a best friend with a bottle of tequila and a bear hug. I found the most comfort in Clean, a song about rebirth after love lost. It inspired me and Someone Great," Robinson later wrote in an Instagram post.

Taylor Swift's boyfriend, Joe Alwyn, has co-written songs with her

After "Folkmore," a surprise album, was released in July 2020, fans of Taylor Swift quickly became curious about the identity of William Bowery, who was credited as a co-writer on two of the album's songs, "Betty" and "Exile." In her self-directed Disney+ special, "Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions," Swift revealed what many fans had already begun to suspect — the person behind Bowery is actually Swift's long-term boyfriend, Joe Alwyn. He previously co-wrote "Champagne Problems," "Coney Island," and "Evermore" on the "Evermore" album.

During a December 2020 interview on "Jimmy Kimmel Live," Kimmel asked Taylor Swift how the pseudonym William Bowery came to be and why. Swift kept mum, saying, "You've gotta ask him because it's really more his story than mine."

Swift and Alwyn have attempted to keep their relationship mostly private over the years. During a 2020 interview with Paul McCartney for Rolling Stone, Swift gave a bit of insight into the reason. "In knowing him and being in the relationship I am in now, I have definitely made decisions that have made my life feel more like a real life and less like just a storyline to be commented on in tabloids. Whether that's deciding where to live, who to hang out with, when to not take a picture — the idea of privacy feels so strange to try to explain, but it's really just trying to find bits of normalcy," she shared.

She grew up on a farm

"I was raised on a farm, no, it wasn't a mansion," sings Taylor Swift in "I Bet You Think About Me." According to Wide Open Country, the farm that Swift sings about was actually an 11-acre Christmas tree farm by the name of Pine Ridge in Reading, Pennsylvania. Swift's father bought it from one of his former clients. In an interview with Esquire, Swift admitted, "It was such a weird place to grow up. But it has cemented in me this unnatural level of excitement about fall and then the holiday season. My friends are so sick of me talking about autumn coming. They're like, 'What are you, an elf?'"

Yes, "Christmas Tree Farm" is based on her real-life experience living on the farm. "[The song is] about how you're in the city and you're stressed out and your life is feeling really low, but in your heart it's a Christmas tree farm," Swift explained in a YouTube video in 2019. The music video features actual old footage of a young Swift playing in the snow, running among the trees, and sledding on the farm.

Taylor Swift wrote a novel when she was 14 years old

According to an exclusive 2015 interview with GQ, Taylor Swift revealed a little-known fact about herself — she actually wrote an entire fiction novel called "A Girl Named Girl" when she was 14 years old. The novel is about a mother who wishes for a son but has a daughter, instead. According to Swift, her parents are still holding onto a copy of this yet-unpublished story.

According to the Associated Press (via Billboard), Swift discovered songwriting soon after she wrote her first (and, so far, only) book. "That's the form of writing that inspires me the most. It's not to say that I wouldn't expand the mediums and the ways that I choose to write," she said. "What if I end up writing a script or a book, or a book of poetry or something? That would be so amazing. I would love to see that happen."

Her mom wanted her to become an equestrian

Taylor Swift lived in Pennsylvania until she was 13 years old, and during those years, she explored a number of hobbies — one being horseback riding, which she participated in competitively for years. In a 2016 interview with Vogue, Swift shared that this pastime better reflected her mother's interests than her own, saying, "She really wanted me to be a horseback rider, and I did it competitively until I worked up the nerve at age twelve to tell her I didn't really love it like she loved it." Jokingly, Swift added, "I just wanted to make music and do theater, so I've been a big disappointment."

Within the same interview, Swift detailed how strange it felt to return to her hometown of Reading. "When you're a little kid, you're riding the same roads to school every single day, hundreds of times. When you come back, you snap into that same nostalgia." Even though Swift may not look back too fondly on her memories of horseback riding, there's no doubt that she has an incredible amount of love for the place she grew up.

She binge-watches Friends while she's on tour

In an interview on the Vogue YouTube channel, Taylor Swift revealed that her favorite show of all time is the ever-so-popular "Friends." It's not too surprising that Swift loves the beloved sitcom, which has gained a cult following since it first aired in 1994; however, in a GQ interview, she shared that there's a bit of a deeper, more emotional meaning behind her love of the show.

She told the publication back in 2015 that the show helps her decompress. "When I go home and turn on the TV, and I've got Monica and Chandler and Ross and Rachel and Phoebe and Joey on a Friends marathon, I don't feel lonely. I've just been onstage for two hours, talking to 60,000 people about my feelings. That's so much social stimulation," she revealed.

In the same year that this interview was published, Swift had the opportunity to bring both Lisa Kudrow and Matt LeBlanc (separately) on stage during her tour for "1989." Swift and Kudrow even sang a hilarious rendition of "Smelly Cat," which fans seemed to get a kick out of.

She has a serious love for her uniquely named cats

Taylor Swift has three cats, and they're all named after different big- or small-screen characters, according to Cosmopolitan. She's had her oldest cat, Meredith Grey (named after the "Grey's Anatomy" protagonist), since 2011; her middle cat, Olivia Benson (named after the "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" detective), since 2014, and her newest cat, Benjamin Button (named, obviously, after the book and film of the same name) since 2019. Swift actually met Benjamin Button on the set of her music video for "ME!"

"I know kittens are cute, but that kitten's special," Swift said in a YouTube video introducing the cat (via iHeart). "You're gonna have two sisters. They're going to be really, really nice to you. Maybe not at first, but that's just because they're jealous," she told the kitty.

It's clear just how much Swift loves her cats, but just in case you still need convincing, they were the theme of her 30th birthday cake.

Taylor Swift and Nils Sjoberg are one and the same

Not only does Taylor Swift have nine Billboard Hot 100 No.1 Hits of her own, but she also wrote the Billboard Hot 100 No. 3 hit "This Is What You Came For" by Calvin Harris and Rihanna. This fact is often unknown, though, because Swift wrote the song under a pseudonym, Nils Sjoberg, which her public relations team later confirmed was indeed her in a 2016 People magazine report.

This isn't the only song Swift has written for other singers, though. Ever heard of "Better Man" — the 2017 Country Music Award-winning song — by Little Big Town? Yep, Swift wrote that — and there's actually a "Taylor's Version" of the hit on "Red (Taylor's Version)." Some of the other songs Swift has written or co-written include "You'll Always Find Your Way Back Home," which was made popular by Miley Cyrus in "Hannah Montana: The Movie," "Best Days of Your Life" by Kellie Pickler, and "Babe" by Sugarland (via Insider).

One of Taylor Swift's most famous songs was written for her high school boyfriend

As Taylor Swift shared with a reporter from The Boot back in 2015, one of her very first hits, "Our Song" from her self-titled album, was actually written for her high school boyfriend and later performed at her school. "At that time, I was dating a guy, and we didn't have a song. So I went ahead and wrote us one, and I played it at the talent show at the end of the year," Swift recalled. "And months later, people would come up to me, and they're like, 'I loved that song that you played ... and they'd only heard it once, so I thought, 'There must be something here!'"

There definitely was, Taylor! According to The Tennessean, "Our Song" made Swift the youngest person to ever independently write and sing a No. 1 country single, and in late 2019, Rolling Stone selected it as one of the best women's country songs between 2000 and 2020.