After Taylor Swift dropped her new single, “Look What You Made Me Do” — which seemingly takes swipes at foes Kim Kardashian, Kanye West and Katy Perry — fans eagerly anticipated the video that would drop two days later at the MTV Video Music Awards on August 27. But when it finally debuted (it’d go on to rack up a record-shattering 43 -million–plus views in 24 hours) Swift was nowhere to be found.
One reason, explains an insider, was her months-long romance with actor Joe Alwyn. Says the Swift insider, who’s attended the popular awards show eight out of the last nine years, “She didn’t want the media to ask about him. She’s enjoying her private time.”
Meet Taylor 2.0. A source says Swift’s new strategy is to “keep her personal life separate from her work life” and leave the PDA behind. Though the 10-time Grammy winner flaunted her brief romance with Tom Hiddleston (see: his “I [heart] T.S.” tank), she’s taken pains to keep her romance with the 26-year-old Brit under wraps. In June, after he visited her in Nashville, Swift sent Alwyn back to London in her private jet. And the couple, who a source says have been holing up in Swift’s $20 million penthouse loft in NYC’s Tribeca neighborhood, relied on hoodies to stay hidden while out in July.
A Swift source explains that with some of her past releases, “It’s been Taylor’s M.O. to be seen with a new guy first, have her new single drop and then announce her new album. But this time, she’s kept the guy private. And that’s pretty interesting. She really likes Joe.” Still, notes the source, Swift knows she’ll have to officially re-emerge ahead of Reputation’s November release: “Expect to see them step out together really soon.”
After the fallout from the Hiddleswift split, Swift opted to retreat from public life. Now, as she prepares for re-entry, she’s letting her work do the talking. “LWYMMD” was streamed 8 million times on Spotify its first day. And Swift’s fans have praised her ability to poke fun at her persona.
Now she’s ready to pivot to her romance. “Taylor knows the buzz around her just began, and she’ll want to continue that before her album drops,” says the source. “One way is showing off her new love.” He’s a good prize, says the insider, noting the Mary Queen of Scots actor is “supportive of her career choices. She’s very happy.” That may be the best revenge of all.
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