It’s been a huge year for longtime singer and songwriter Taylor Swift, who produced her eighth and ninth studio album, albums that went viral as many of us were stuck at home with little to do but spend time with our families and with art and entertainment. This weekend, her work in 2020 was given even more credence with an award win for Album of the Year at the 2021 Grammys, but she didn’t take all of the credit, thanking a slew of individuals, including her besties Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds.
During a memorably Grammy Awards moment -- OK perhaps it was memorable due to the awesome pink floral dress Taylor Swift was sporting -- the singer/songwriter spoke out about her time recording Folklore. She thanked some of her collaborators on the projects, but also Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds and their three girls, who helped play a pivotal role in Folklore’s narrative.
I want to thank all of my collaborators who are on this stage, I want to thank Serban Ghenea. I want to thank Justin Vernon -- I’m so excited to meet you some day. Joe, who is the first person I play every single song I write; I had the best time writing songs with you in quarantine. I want to thank James, Inez, and Betty and their parents who are the second and third people who I play every new song that I write. But mostly I want to thank the fans.
When Folklore came out earlier in 2020, it was a big deal, marking a return to some of the work Taylor Swift had dabbled in for projects like the Hunger Games soundtrack. It helped that Swift used some of her signature mysteries and clues to get people hyped about the release. Incorporating her famous A-lister pals into the release and also outing the name of Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively’s third child also helped attract notice, dare I say.
The album went on to be massively popular from both a streaming and purchasing standpoint. In fact, it was the number 1 release for the whole year, topping other popular albums from Lil Baby, Pop Smoke, The Weeknd, and the posthumous release from Juice WRLD, Legends Never Die. To nab that title, back in January of this year, the album had sold 1.2 million copies and was responsible for more than 1.1 billion streams. So, even without winning the Album of the Year title at the Grammys, it was doing just fine. But doubtless more people will be revisiting Folklore after the latest win came down the pipeline as well.
During the big moment, Folklore producer Aaron Dessner, of The National Fame and who worked with Taylor Swift and Jack Antonoff on the album, spoke first about how the team together to make the Grammy winners as memorable as it is. Then Taylor Swift took the mic and had a lot of additional stuff to say. You can see the speech in full, which also pays tribute to Joe Alwyn (or William Bowery) as well, below.
I'm actually a little surprised that Blake Lively hasn't said anything about the Grammy's nod at this point, but the day is still young. Meanwhile, if you haven't heard how Taylor Swift named her characters on Folklore after James, Inez and Betty, the singer did so with full permission from Lively herself, who later penned a long tribute and told Taylor Swift how much her family is in love with her.