How Taylor Swift Got Her Name

Taylor Swift is one of the biggest music superstars in the world. In case you were in doubt, she topped herself with an impressive record on the Billboard charts — in March and May 2023, Swift had ten albums on the Billboard 200 charts all at the same time. She is the only living musician that has ever done this.

In addition to being an amazing musician herself, one thing only the biggest fans of Swift know is that she is named after another famous musician: James Taylor. Swift's parents were fans of Taylor's music, and they also wanted to give her a gender-neutral name. Many years after their daughter was born, they got to see her and her namesake perform together.

During Swift's performance at Madison Square Garden for her Speak Now World Tour, she told the crowd that she discovered she was named after Taylor when she told her mom her favorite song to sing in chorus class was "Fire and Rain." Swift then brought Taylor out to sing that song with her, and also her song "Fifteen." The year after, Taylor brought Swift to a performance at Tanglewood in Massachusetts, where they sang "Fire and Rain" once more and Swift's songs "Love Story" and "Ours."

Taylor and Swift also performed together before she became a household name

In a Stereogum interview from 2015, James Taylor was asked how it felt being connected to Taylor Swift as her namesake. He said, "It's hugely flattering and was a delightful surprise when she told me that. We did a benefit together, I think it was focused on teenage pregnancy, before [Swift] really took off. But she was playing guitar and singing her songs and I knew how remarkable she was." On finding out that Swift's parents were fans and that's how she got her name, Taylor told the outlet, "I got a real kick out of the fact that she'd been named after me," adding how it's "a great connection, I think."

Another great connection between Taylor and Swift comes in the form of a direct reference in one of Swift's songs. "Begin Again" was initially released in 2012 with the album "Red" and then re-released in 2021 as part of "Red (Taylor's Version)." The song chronicles a first date with a new person after a breakup. In one of the verses, Swift sings: "You said you never met one girl who had as many James Taylor records as you, but I do."

Some people want to name their children after Swift or her music

Everything has come full circle — Taylor Swift is so popular, she is now inspiring soon-to-be parents trying to choose their own baby names. In 2022, a Reddit user posted a question on the Taylor Swift Reddit thread asking for baby names inspired by Swift, adding, " ... the more unique the better!" The top comment on the thread included over 100 name suggestions from people in Swift's real life, her song lyrics, places significant to her, and more. Many other commenters suggested August, Betty, Willow, or Ivy, which are song titles from Swift's "Folklore" and "Evermore" albums.

The baby clothes company Miann & Co. posts baby name idea videos on their TikTok account. They have compiled unique baby names inspired by some of Swift's albums, along with names inspired by songs from musicians like Hozier and Lana Del Ray. Swift's music has also motivated artists to flock to TikTok with tattoo ideas based on her lengthy discography.