Taylor Swift may be one of the biggest pop stars on the planet, but she still likes to give back to her fans. So when the star received a heartfelt plea from the sister of admirer Max Singer, Swift decided to turn up to his wedding. And what happened next blew the bride and groom away.
Swift was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, in December 1989 and lived on her family’s Christmas tree farm in Wyomissing. And early on, she discovered a love of singing. In fact, the talent is in her genes; Swift’s grandmother actually worked as an opera singer professionally.
But the future star got her start performing at events, including singing the U.S. national anthem at a basketball game for the Philadelphia 76ers when she was just 11 years old. Obviously inspired, Swift started writing her own songs and began learning to play the guitar.
Swift’s parents recognized her gift – as well as her commitment to making it as a singer. So the family decided to relocate to Hendersonville, Tennessee, so that she could be closer to Nashville, the country music capital of America. There, the teen was noticed following a performance at The Bluebird Café and later landed a record deal with Big Machine Records.
In 2006 Swift released “Tim McGraw,” her debut single. It reached the top ten in the country music charts, and her first album went on to sell over five million records. And after a few more successful country songs, the singer received a nomination for Best New Artist at the 2008 Grammy Awards.
And 2008 was a great time for the rising star’s career, as she became the top-selling country artist of that year. Following this achievement, in 2009 she won the MTV Video Music Award for Best Female Video for “You Belong with Me.” But her win was surrounded by controversy; Swift gained attention when Kanye West interrupted her speech to claim that Beyoncé should have won in her place.
Then in 2010 Swift won another Grammy Award for Album of the Year for Fearless. The star became the youngest artist ever to take home the prestigious prize. And success continued as Swift’s next albums, Speak Now and Red, each sold more than a million copies in the first week of their releases.
In 2012 Swift had become the highest-earning star under 30, according to Forbes. That year alone she took home $57 million. And following her good fortune in the world of country music, Swift decided to make a surprising career move.
Swift released her next album, 1989, in 2014. And it marked a change in sound for the singer after years of country hits. You see, the record moved away from that genre and into mainstream pop music.
The risk paid off, and 1989 became an instant hit. Once again, the album sold more than a million copies in its first week, making Swift the first star to reach that milestone with three albums in succession. She also topped the charts with the singles “Shake It Off” and “Blank Space.”
As well as being a commercial success, 1989 was also praised by critics. Swift took home Best Music Video and Best Pop Vocal Album at the 2016 Grammys. And for the cherry on top, when the singer received the Album of the Year prize, she became the first woman to be given the title on two occasions.
For some time after that, Swift retreated from the spotlight. But she made headlines in 2017 for a lawsuit against David Mueller, who she accused of alleged battery and assault. Swift claimed the radio disc jockey had groped her in 2013. And she successfully sued him for one dollar, an amount, on her request, to show that it was about the principle rather than the money.
Swift then triumphantly returned to the music scene in August 2017 with the announcement of her next album, Reputation. The first track released off the record was titled “Look What You Made Me Do.” Happily for Swift her hard work was rewarded; as well as producing popular singles, Reputation was named the highest-selling album of 2017.
In 2018 Swift performed around the globe to support the record. She kicked off her massive Reputation World Tour in the United States in May and ended it in Tokyo in November. Swift also traveled to Europe and Oceania as part of the tour, which comprised of 53 concerts in total.
Given Swift’s continued success in the music industry, perhaps it is no surprise that she broke further records with her latest set of concerts. The Reputation World Tour became not only the highest-grossing U.S. tour of the year – but also in the country’s history. With total earnings of $345 million, it was the second-most successful worldwide tour of 2018, behind Ed Sheeran’s ÷ Tour.
Today, Swift is worth $320 million and has sold over 40 million albums across the globe, making her one of the world’s best-selling artists. She additionally has an Emmy Award and ten Grammys in total. But the star is not just known for the popularity of her music; her private life is of apparently endless interest to the media.
Swift has had several relationships with fellow celebrities over the years. In the early days of her fame, the singer was linked to Joe Jonas, Taylor Lautner and John Mayer. She later dated Conor Kennedy and Jake Gyllenhaal. And more recently, Swift’s dating life has only become even more high-profile.
At the end of 2012 Swift had a relationship with Harry Styles that ended a few months later. She then coupled up with DJ Calvin Harris for over a year until June 2016. The star later began dating actor Tom Hiddleston, but the romance ended after three months. And while the aforementioned relationships may not have lasted long, there was plenty of attention surrounding them.
Swift, who is now dating actor Joe Alwyn, has also become infamous for writing songs about her exes. The track “Forever & Always” is believed to be about Jonas, but she made it even more clear that she was writing about Mayer with the single “Dear John.” The songs “Out of the Woods” and “Style” off the album 1989 are widely rumored to be about Styles too.
However, Swift hasn’t been afraid to poke fun at her reputation for having a string of failed celebrity romances. The song “Blank Space” is a break-up anthem that includes the lyrics, “Got a long list of ex-lovers, they’ll tell you I’m insane.” And she has further commented on her portrayal with her latest album.
Swift has also had pretty public feuds with celebrities such as Kanye West, Kim Kardashian and Katy Perry. For starters she fell out with West and Kardashian after claiming that she did not give the former permission to use her name on his track “Famous.” The latter then released a video that appeared to show Swift consenting to the song during a phone call with the rapper.
As a result, Kardashian branded Swift a “snake” on Twitter in 2016. So the pop star used images of serpents while promoting the Reputation album. But Swift made amends with Perry in 2018 when the latter sent her an actual olive branch.
Indeed, Swift has found herself at the center of some celebrity fall-outs over the years. But the star has managed to shake off any diva claims in part due to her charitable causes and close relationship with her fans. As well as donating to several organizations, for instance, she has also visited patients at children’s hospitals in the past. And Swift has also come up with creative ways to surprise her fans.
As an example, Swift sent sweet notes and gifts to several of her fans for Christmas in 2014. That same year, she showed up to the Connecticut home of Stephanie Barrett as a surprise after Barrett told Swift that her music had helped her through a difficult time. She has also invited admirers in the U.S. and U.K. to secret listening parties ahead of the release of both 1989 and Reputation.
Furthermore, when one of Swift’s fans called Sergeant Wade Wilson was killed in Afghanistan in 2012, the pop star reached out to his family with a bunch of flowers. It was accompanied by a note in honor of the marine. “… Thank you for loving my music. I won’t forget it and I’ll never forget you. All my love, Taylor Swift,” the singer wrote.
In addition, Swift once surprised a fan who had invited the songstress to her wedding. Though when she was unable to make the big date, she turned up to her bridal shower instead. But perhaps her most memorable fan encounter to date was the day that she showed up to one lucky couple’s wedding reception.
Max Singer is a huge fan of Swift’s. And in 2015 his mother, Janey Singer, received a lung cancer diagnosis. She died at the age of 62 that November, just two months after discovering the illness.
In 2016 Singer was planning to marry his then-fiancée, teacher Kenya Smith, in a big ceremony. But they decided to have their marriage ceremony in his mom Janey’s hospital room instead, so that she could witness and treasure the moment. Their mother and son dance at the medical facility was to Swift’s hit “Blank Space.”
Singer’s mom, Janey, died just days afterwards. And the unselfish concern of his new bride touched his sister, Ali Singer. “To take a day where it’s all about you, and drop it all to get married in a room so my mom could be there, was incredible and really showed their true partnership together,” Ali Singer told The New York Times in 2016.
A few months later, in June 2016, Singer and Smith’s planned wedding took place at Brant Beach Yacht Club on Long Beach Island. And the sister Ali gave a speech at the reception, mentioning their mother and her brother’s love of Taylor Swift. “For those of you who missed the moment, [he] chose ‘Blank Space’ as his first mother-son dance, an oh-so-fitting song for the biggest Taylor Swift fan in this place, or as he likes to call her, ‘Tay,’” she said.
Ali also referenced a quote from Sheryl Sandberg, explaining that “option A is not available,” and they should instead embrace option B. “… We all wish mom was here, and I can confidently say she’s smiling down and telling us right now… to get the party started,” she added. “So in honor of mom… we’re gonna get this life together started the way you started it the first time around with your marriage in that little room.”
To everyone’s surprise, Swift then entered the room and sat down at a keyboard. Singer, Smith and their guests were clearly in shock, with one repeatedly shouting, “Oh my God!” And the star addressed the crowd, telling them, “I apologize for wedding crashing.”
As Singer, Smith and the guests danced in front of her, Swift then performed a pared down version of “Blank Space.” And she admitted that she had never expected that she would sing the hit in such a setting. “I wanna talk about the fact that when I wrote this song, I never in my life imagined I would be performing it at a wedding,” Swift told the audience.
However, Swift added, “But what [Singer] and [Smith] want, they get.” She also presented the couple with a card that she had made that featured their names and wedding date. Swift decorated her creation with watercolor flowers and the “Blank Space” lyric, “So it’s gonna be forever.”
Excited guests at the celebration naturally later shared videos of Swift’s performance. And the singer also took the time to pose for photos with the bride, groom and members of their wedding party. Swift further shared some of the snapshots on her own Instagram page, while congratulating Singer and Smith.
It turned out that Singer’s sister Ali had planned the surprise with help from a family friend. The pal had seen the groom’s graduate school essay that was based around Swift’s album 1989. After serving as an Army captain in Afghanistan and Iraq, Singer had been accepted into Cornell University thanks to his essay. So they got a copy and sent it to people who they thought could potentially get to the star, while sharing the story about Singer’s mother.
Meanwhile, Smith’s father said he felt that the romance between Singer and Smith was always meant to be. “The first time she brought him back to Iowa to meet us, we knew right away that this would be the one,” he told The New York Times.
Swift confirmed that she would attend the wedding just days beforehand. And after the reception, Ali thanked her for the unforgettable experience. “… Swift, you are an inspiration and you have the biggest heart in the world,” she wrote. “Your selflessness and desire to be a part of something this special is one of a kind.”
Meanwhile, Swift’s career is staying strong. Indeed, in December 2018 the star released a movie of The Reputation World Tour on Netflix. And she is also due to portray Bombalurina in a movie adaptation of the hit musical Cats.
Now Singer and Smith are presumably very proud parents to a little girl. And judging by their reaction at seeing Swift at their wedding, it was clearly a moment they will never forget. Following the pain of losing the groom’s mother, it seems Swift’s surprise performance was the ultimate way to lift their spirits. And Ali admitted to The New York Times that it “restored everyone’s faith in humanity.”