A Chiefs Kingdom primer: Who is Taylor Swift?

By now you probably know that Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and pop icon Taylor Swift are an item. If you're more on the Kelce side of things, let me get you acquainted with the stylings of Ms. Swift.
Chicago Bears v Kansas City Chiefs
Chicago Bears v Kansas City Chiefs / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

Unless you've been living under a rock, you're probably aware that Travis Kelce's new girlfriend was in attendance at the Chiefs 41-10 whomping of the Chicago Bears last Sunday. In a game that resembled a college football homecoming matchup, the media coverage and fawning over the newest Chiefs super fan made it pretty evident who the homecoming queen would have been had we held a vote. The budding relationship between Taylor Swift, whom we are learning more about day by day, and Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce is one that will bring Chiefs Kingdom and Swift's following (know as Swifties) together in a social media alliance, but one thing that has become evident in the past couple of days is that those two groups may not exactly know much about their person of interest's love interest.

Dozens of guides have been posted online in the past 48 hours for Swifties to understand what Travis Kelce and NFL football in general are all about. But that leads to an equally important question from Chiefs fans - who exactly is Taylor Swift? After doing the legwork and research on this mysterious musician for you, I've come to find out that Taylor Swift is one of the biggest musical acts on the planet. Some outlets online argue that she's the most famous person on the planet, but others would take the more conservative approach of calling her America's biggest pop star. Either way, these allegations prompted a more thorough dive from me, and as Arrowhead Addict's newly anointed investigative reported (self anointed) I felt it necessary to share my finding with you, the reader.

If you're more on the Travis Kelce side of things, let me get you acquainted with the stylings of Ms. Swift.

It would appear that this pairing is one between two of the most important pillars of two very different worlds, and I think it's important for you all have a baseline knowledge of Taylor's presence in the music and pop-culture scene. The "why" behind Taylor's megastardom could likely help us appreciate why our sweet prince is head-over-heels for her. She is apparently quite the big deal, according to the internet.

Before I get going, allow me a disclaimer: I definitely knew who Taylor Swift was before sitting down to blast out this 1,000+ word synopsis for those of you who don't. I am not a "Swifty", nor could I sing along with more than five or six of her songs, but I have a baseline knowledge of her work. I am a fan of the1989 album, but probably more of a fan of Ryan Adams' version of it. But I know enough to be dangerous, so let's dive in to get a fundamental (albeit rudimentary) understanding of Trav's new boo.

Per sources, Taylor Swift holds the level of stardom of a combination of Cleopatra, Joan of Arc, and Dianna Ross combined. But the Taylor Swift that is known and loved today is not the Taylor Swift that stormed on to the music scene. Swift's first album, her self-titled debut, dropped just a couple months shy of her 17th birthday back in 2006 and was very much a country album. Her influences as a young musician included names like Shania Twain, Faith Hills, and The Chicks (formerly the D*xie Chicks, but that name has been canceled). The hits off this one are still played on country radio today, including bangers like "Teardrops on My Guitar", "Tim McGraw", and "Pictures to Burn." A star was born with this album, but we had no clue that it would turn into an absolute supernova.

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Musically Swift has been as prolific as any star of this generation, pumping out 10 studio albums, 4 live albums, 5 EPs, and even 4 re-recordings of previous albums including Fearless, Red, Speak Now, and 1989—all re-released with the (Taylor's Version) monicker. Call it superstardom or excellent salespersonship, but re-releasing an album that you already released—essentially doubling up on your sales and profits from songs you already dropped but made a little different—is the definition of pop culture transcendence. Swift has not only gotten people to buy in, she's gotten them to buy in again on the exact same thing.

In football terms, she's like the Nick Saban or Bill Belichick of the pop music world. The songs may change (sometimes they don't) but the message and outcome have stood the test of time. Need something new to stay relevant? Not necessarily when you're Taylor Swift. Swift has hit the top spot on Billboard's pop charts a record 12 times, won 12 Grammys, and is the second most streamed artist in the history of Spotify, trailing only Drake.

Swift's love life has also, concerningly, been a catalyst for her music career in less than positive ways. Whether it's been Joe Jonas, John Mayer, Taylor Lautner (yeah, the vampire movie guy), or Harry Styles, Swift has probably made more money off of breakup songs that Travis Kelce has netted in NFL contracts thus far. Kind of messed up when you think about it: You can be a bitter ex-girlfriend and make a better living than the greatest tight end to ever play the game? Only if you can write bangers about those exes. This must make her the greatest ex-girlfriend in the history of relationships, right? Let's hope we don't find this to be false mid-season. A T-Swift derailment of a Chiefs Super Bowl repeat could incite a war between Chiefs Kingdom and the Swifties that I fear we're unprepared to fight.

From a cultural standpoint, Swift has been a phenomenon that the music world hasn't seen since Michael Jackson. Her Eras tour is single-handedly impacting local economies across the country. It was reported that during Swift's two night stop in Kansas City in July that the local economic impact was more significant than that of April's NFL Draft. To put that in perspective, the Draft attracted over 300,000 visitors to Kansas City over a four-day span. The football crowd buys beers and chicken wings; the Swifties, martinis and charcuterie boards.

Taylor is a megastar, and I can say from personal experience one of her bigger hits, "Shake It Off", is one of the better post-gym songs you can blast in a Toyota Tundra at 6 AM after a killer workout. Don't ask me how I know this, but it gets the juices flowing. As long as Travis Kelce can avoid a non-amicable split with T-Swift and, in the process, avoid a break-up song about him (almost certainly titled Loose End), this is something we can all enjoy—for now. Just know that if things turn south between Trav and Tay we may be in for an immense battle that none of us saw coming.