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Stevie Nicks Teams Up with Taylor Swift for ‘The Tortured Poet’s Department’

Swift’s new album features haunting words from the Fleetwood Mac frontwoman

Both are selling out arenas, but one has a career that’s longer than the other has even been alive. Yet Taylor Swift and Stevie Nicks have delighted fans by teaming up again, this time for a cameo on Swift’s 11th studio record, The Tortured Poets Department. 

But sadly, those same fans won’t hear the “Gypsy” crooner’s husky voice on any of the album’s 31 tracks. Instead, she’s written a poem dedicated to the “Shake It Off” singer featured on the insert for the record. While the album — released on April 19th — has already broken streaming records, you’ll have to buy the vinyl or CD version to see Nicks’s contribution. 

Both singers are known to pen songs about exes and failed relationships, so it’s no surprise the poem speaks of heartbreak and ill-fated lovers. 

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Taylor Swift playing guitar
Taylor Swift (2022)Terry Wyatt / Stringer / Getty

“He was in love with her, or at least she thought so. She was brokenhearted, maybe he was too,” the 75-year-old singer writes in “To T and Me.” 

“He wouldn’t open his eyes. She was on her way to the stars. He didn’t say goodbye.” It ends with the haunting words: “She was just flying, thru (sic) the clouds, when he saw her … She was just making her way to the stars when he lost her.” 

While it’s hard to tell if the poem references either of the singer’s past beaus, it’s a powerful and haunting addition to the 34-year-old’s prophetic lyrics. Nicks is known for her rich, expressive tone and ability to convey a wide range of emotions through her songwriting, while Swift is widely praised for her depth, authenticity, and emotional resonance. 

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‘Clara Bow’ reference: Taylor Swift and Stevie Nicks

woman with headphones; stevie nicks
Stevie Nicks (1975)Fin Costello / Staff / Getty

That’s not the only reference to the legendary singer on the album. In the song “Clara Bow,” Swift croons, “You look like Stevie Nicks in ’75, the hair and lips. The crowd goes wild at her fingertips, half moonshinе, a full eclipse.”

The 14-time Grammy winner has long been a fan of “fellow tortured poet” Nicks, and apparently the feeling is mutual. “I never don’t tell the truth. I think that’s something that if Taylor Swift, who is my friend, if Taylor got anything from me, that’s what she got,” Nicks shared with Today in October of 2023. “I don’t ever lie in my songs — if you broke up with me, I don’t put I broke up with you. I tell the truth, always.” 

The “Dreams” singer also shared that one of Swift’s songs got her through a hard time, and the pair even performed together at the 2010 Grammy Awards. That same year, Nicks praised the young pop star in Time Magazine, crediting her for “saving” music. “Taylor is writing for the universal woman and for the man who wants to know her. The female rock-‘n’-roll-country-pop songwriter is back, and her name is Taylor Swift. And it’s women like her who are going to save the music business.” 

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Taylor Swift and Stevie Nicks
Taylor Swift and Stevie Nicks (2010)Jeff Kravitz / Contributor / Getty

Swift’s fans (aptly titled Swifties) would likely agree. Meanwhile, Nicks — who kicks off a U.S. tour in May — isn’t the only iconic crooner on the new album. Poet and singer Patti Smith is also referenced, sending Google searches for the “Because the Night” singer skyrocketing 430%, says Nieuwe Casinos. 

Smith was name-dropped in the title song for The Tortured Poets Department, which contains the lyrics: “You’re not Dylan Thomas, I’m not Patti Smith.” Since its release, the song has 28,342,074 streams on Spotify, making it one of the album’s top-performing tracks. 

Swift’s songwriting is characterized by sincerity, introspection, and sheer craftsmanship, making her one of the most celebrated songwriters of her generation. Now she’s also helping to shine a spotlight on icons of generations past, bringing them to the forefront of popular music today. Just one more reason to love her!

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