American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift has delighted the world with her all-American charm, becoming the cool girl that everyone wants to be friends with. One of the key components of Swift’s empire is her bastion of loyal friends, a group of celebrities that have become collectively known as her squad. Since it seems that Taylor makes friends with whomever the next “It” celeb is, the squad has seen a lot of new faces from time to time, so here is your guide to T-Swift’s elite pack of friends.
Let’s start with the ringleader herself, miss Taylor Alison Swift. The singer was born in December 1989 and started out in the early 2000s as a country singer with hits such as, “Our Song” and “Teardrops on My Guitar.” The unassuming country singer skyrocketed into popularity over subsequent years, having starred in Valentine’s Day and releasing more albums. Over time, her albums became more and more pop-oriented, straying from her country roots.
Fast forward to today, Swift has built up a reputation as a serial dater and a victim of the music industry. Love her or hate her, Swift is a mega-pop phenomenon with a ton of success. With each wave of success, Swift would almost always pick up a new set of friends.
To Be A Part Of The Squad
It seems as if Taylor Swift’s exclusive group of friends is filled with nothing but celebrity. Swift makes friends with the likes of actresses, supermodels, and fellow musicians and singers. This would make one assume that you have to be beautiful, famous, and/or talented to be a part of Taylor’s squad.
Pictures of the squad always depict them doing cute things like baking, sun bathing, or something else mundane that they make look incredibly fun. That, in addition to being stylish and pretty, is what has made Taylor and her crew define what is known as #SquadGoals. But you don’t always have to be famous to be Taylor’s friend, you just have to have been there from the beginning, as you will learn later on which friends from her non-famous past Swift has kept close.
You may have heard mention of a girl named Abigail in one of Swift’s earlier songs, “Fifteen.” It turns out that Abigail is a real person and she is actually Swift’s best friend. In an interview with Oprah, Swift has said, “But my best friend, Abigail, we met when I was 15. First day of school freshman year we sat next to each other in English. She wanted to be a swimmer and go off on a college scholarship for swimming and I wanted to be a singer.”
Despite Swift’s group of famous friends, this is one friend that she has kept near and dear to her heart despite all her fame. To this day, you will sometimes see either of them hanging out via their respective social media accounts.
Britany Maack is another person from Taylor’s past that she has kept close. The two were childhood friends and grew up in Reading, Pennsylvania together. During their childhood, they rode horses together. Even though Taylor left Pennsylvania to pursue her music career, the two have continued to remain close.
Maack has been quoted as saying, “When I first met Taylor, we were a couple of months old. We grew up together, from babies to toddlers to teenagers. We were more like sisters than friends.” In 2016, Swift even served as the maid of honor in Maack’s wedding to a Benjamin LaManna, who Swift has also known since she was four years old.
Back when Swift had just released her second album in 2008, she had become fast friends with Disney star Selena Gomez. At the time, the two were both dating a Jonas brother—Taylor was dating Joe and Selena was dating Nick. The two allegedly hit it off right away and made their friendship debut on the red carpet for the premiere of Another Cinderella Story later that year.
Their friendship has survived through the years and although Selena isn’t often seen in Swift’s squad pictures, she has been known to say that she prefers “one on one” time with her friend. Recently, however, it has been rumored that the friendship between the two has been in question after Swift allegedly dumped Selena for being in contact with her toxic ex Justin Beiber while in rehab in 2016.
A lot of people wonder how actress Jaime King and Taylor Swift became pals after they’ve both showed up on each other’s respective Instagram accounts. But rumor has it that they met at a Weinstein Company party after the 2014 Golden Globes and have become fast friends ever since.
Later that year, King attended Swift’s Fourth of July party at her Rhode Island mansion and the two participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that was popular at the time. King valued her friendship with Swift so much that in 2015, she announced that Taylor was going to be a godmother for her son!
Lorde and Taylor Swift were actually fans of each other before becoming BFFs. The New Zealand-born singer once dissed Swift in an interview in 2013: “Taylor Swift is so flawless and so unattainable, and I don’t think it’s breeding anything good in young girls.” But after issuing an apology and Swift sending Lorde flowers after a performance, the two met up in New York City to bond over Shake Shack and have been friends ever since.
In 2016, Swift threw a party for Lorde’s 20th birthday, taking to Instagram to express her feelings over their friendship: “Thank you for the music you make, the advice you give, the thoughts you provoke, and the way you’ve made my life more beautiful since the first day we met up in New York and ate burgers on a park bench and got attacked by squirrels.”
Navigating Hollywood might be a little daunting for a young woman who has already had serious film roles as a teen. But the exposure isn’t so bad when you have someone like Taylor Swift to guide you and be your friend. The two actually met around 2010 through a mutual friend, actress Emma Stone.
In 2014 Steinfeld told E! News about her friendship with Taylor: “We do just really random stuff when we are together. We just love to kick back, listen to music, watch TV, bake, watch movies and all that kind of stuff.” But fast forward to today, you’ll find that the two haven’t found much time to hang out recently, as Steinfeld recently told Seventeen magazine in 2016: “I think people think we spend a lot more time together than we actually do! She’s amazing though.”
Feminist actress and writer Lena Dunham has long been a fan of Swift before the two even met, saying that Swift’s albums have been “a soundtrack to many of [her] feelings” while writing her first film and Girls. After Swift released her album Red in 2012, Dunham publicly announced on Twitter how “triumphant” it was and Swift replied back with praise of Lena’s show Girls.
The two quickly became Twitter pals and finally met at the 2013 Grammy’s, where they were seen acting like the best of friends. Swift credits Dunham for teaching her about feminism: “Becoming friends with Lena – without her preaching to me, but just seeing why she believes what she believes, why she says what she says, why she stands for what she stands for – has made me realize that I’ve been taking a feminist stance without actually saying so.”
In 2014, Taylor photobombed a picture of models Karlie Kloss and Gigi Hadid. Many people believe that that is one of the definitive moments that marks the beginning of their friendship. Hadid has been seen at multiple shows during Swift’s “1989 Tour,” as well as in pictures of their numerous hangouts.
In 2015, Hadid told Elle Canada: “We want to be the generation and the group of friends known for supporting each other. ‘Squad Goals’ is a big social-media thing right now, and that’s what we want to inspire in other groups of friends — to be proud of the power you all have when you’re together, which can be amplified so much by each person. That’s what has been cool about everyone’s willingness to be there for each other, and we don’t want to be like other generations who are infamous for their cattiness.”
Hadid isn’t the first model that Swift has made friends with, as it all started with Karlie Kloss, who is arguably Taylor’s closest and best model friend. When Swift was interviewed for her February 2012 cover of Vogue, she was quoted as saying “I love Karlie Kloss… I want to bake cookies with her!” After the cover came out, Kloss responded to Taylor via Twitter asking “Your kitchen or mine?”
The two finally met when Taylor performed at the 2013 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, at which Kloss was one of the main supermodels gracing the runway. Since then, the two have only grown closer and Kloss even has a room stocked with her favorite snacks in Swift’s NYC apartment!
Martha Hunt is another model in Taylor’s bunch, and has been seen in pictures of hangouts with Taylor and her other model friends. Like Kloss, Hunt has also walked the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, so it is likely that that is where the two have met.
In 2015, Hunt told People magazine about what it’s like being friends with Taylor and the rest of the “squad” after she was seen in 4th of July party pics: “She has such an infectious personality. Everyone just wants to be around her at all times. She really brings out the best in everybody… They’re all such great people, like there wasn’t one bad apple. Everyone got along.”
Swift met Lily Aldridge at the same time she met Karlie Kloss when she performed at the 2013 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. The two shared a special moment on the catwalk together the following year, when Swift performed again at the same fashion show.
Since then, Aldridge can be seen in a bunch of Taylor’s Instagram pics, but you mostly see them together in group photos of Taylor’s entire squad. Aldridge supported Swift at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards, the 2015 Billboard Music Awards, and also at one of the shows for Swift’s 1989 World Tour in New Jersey.
As if Taylor Swift didn’t already have enough model friends, this list wouldn’t be complete if British model Cara Delevingne wasn’t on the list. In a tribute video that was made for Cara when she graced the July cover of Vogue, Taylor cites the moment that she knew Cara was a true friend.
As the story goes, the two were both in London and were invited to the home of the American Ambassador to Britain. As they were walking into the ambassador’s home, Taylor trips and falls on her face, but after seeing the incident, Cara does on purpose too. Taylor said of the moment, “I had never met anyone in my life that cared so little about being cool. What she cared about was making me feel like it wasn’t embarrassing that I fell.”
Modern Family actress Sarah Hyland met Taylor Swift through mutual friend Selena Gomez at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards and since then the two seem to have had one of the most delightful friendships out of all the other girls in the squad. The two were seen in 2014 attending a showing of Under My Skin, an off-Broadway Play in New York City, where they noticed they dressed like mother and daughter.
They made fun of the incident on Instagram, because of Swift’s height in comparison to Hyland’s, and because of Swift’s polished look compared to Hyland’s rocker-chic. They’ve also been seen at numerous award show parties and even rung in the New Year together!
Gossip Girl actress Blake Lively is one of the newer additions to Taylor’s squad, but a lot of people aren’t mad about it. Apparently Lively has been a big fan of Taylor’s and even praised her on her own Instagram account when Blake posted a picture that Taylor once took with her niece. In 2015, Lively was in Australia filming for The Shallows, which also happened to be the time Swift was in town for her 1989 World Tour.
Apparently, the two hit it off because they have hung out on numerous occasions after that. On Taylor’s birthday that year, Lively posted a picture of the two on a rollercoaster with the caption, “There’s a reason ‘#friendshipgoals’ was invented because of her. Thank you @taylorswift for the happiness you bring to not only everyone that knows you, but also to those who don’t — you’re the real deal.”
Although he’s never actually in any of the “squad” photos, everyone knows that Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift are very good friends. The two actually met after one of Swift’s managers reached out to Sheeran in Nashville, after that, Sheeran’s manager introduced the two singer-songwriters to each other.
Sheeran apparently had apprehensions about meeting the country-pop star, saying in an interview: “I expected her to be one of these artists who is allowed to have a [expletive] bag pass but she was the loveliest person I’ve met.” The two hit it off quite well and Sheeran even went on tour with Swift in 2013.
Los Angeles-based band Haim is another group you can add to list of people included in Taylor Swift’s squad. In 2014, the band tweeted that they were blasting a Taylor Swift song while driving and Taylor responded to them, saying she did a happy dance. After it was announced that Haim would perform for some of the shows on Taylor’s 1989 Tour, the band and Swift were pictured at numerous gatherings together, even at Swift’s birthday party.
The friendship between the four girls (Haim is comprised of three sisters) was solidified when they all took a trip to Hawaii together in 2015 and posted pictures on their Instagram for the whole world to see.
In 2015, Taylor Swift unleashed the music video for her song “Bad Blood” off of her latest album, 1989. The song is supposedly about the tarnished friendship between Swift and fellow pop-star Katy Perry. In the video, Swift is wronged by a partner and after a lengthy training montage, Swift and her army of gal pals go head to head with her ex-partner and their group.
Swift’s partner-turned-enemy is played by Selena Gomez, who is one of Swift’s best friends, as you will find out later. The video was such a hit because it opened the world’s eyes to Taylor’s “squad” and how powerful they all are as one force. Other girls featured in the video include Lena Dunham, Hailee Steinfeld, Cara Delevingne, and Karlie Kloss, all of whom are in Taylor Swift’s squad in real life.
The success and popularity of Swift and her squad hasn’t come about without criticism and backlash. For her 1989 World Tour, Swift has for some reason made it a point to share her stage with other famous people, inviting someone new on stage in every city that she visited.
One of the critics was Grizzly Bear frontman Ed Droste, who has called Taylor Swift a mean girl, even comparing her to Mean Girls character Regina George. According to stereogum.com, “Droste called her ‘self serving’ and ‘calculating,’ explaining that he has ‘first hand experience’ of being treated rudely by [Swift] and saying that ‘she’s been given a free pass for too long” and that Swift “frightens [him] terribly.” Of course, members of Swift’s squad were quick to come to her defense, showing their loyalty. Members of the band Haim, who were once close with Droste, unfollowed him on Twitter and model Gigi Hadid called his rant “the biggest load of bs.”
Katy Perry Collaborating With Taylor’s Ex?
Wow, there seems to be even more bad blood between Taylor Swift and her arch-enemy Katy Perry. On May 9, 2017, Swift’s ex Calvin Harris announced a new album and he’s collaborating with some pretty big names like John Legend, Nicki Minaj, and Pharrell Williams.
One of the musicians he’s worked with on the album, titled “Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1,” came as a bit of a surprise to Swift’s huge legion of fans: Katy Perry. That’s right, Harris chose to collaborate with one of the only people in the world that holds bad blood against Swift. Swiftie’s fans responded immediately on social media, with comments like “Katy is only collaborating with Calvin to try to make Taylor jealous but it’s not gonna work bc Taylor is only focused on new music.”