2016 Sessions > Set #002 [+ 9]
Pop queen, power broker, hater vanquisher—Taylor Swift’s star has never been brighter. On a trip to her childhood home, she wonders: What (on earth) will she do next?
BY NOW YOU KNOW that the past few years have been extraordinary ones in the life of Taylor Swift. Even if you have only casual knowledge of Swift’s music—there may be six or seven souls left on the planet who can’t sing all the words to “Shake It Off”—you’re aware that Swift has become not only one of the most successful recording artists ever, but also an unrivaled power broker who has prevailed in a volatile media economy and brought today’s music overlords to heel. Swift’s 2015 stare-down of Apple—she declined to put her hit album 1989 on Apple’s nascent streaming-music service when the company said it would not pay artists during its initial launch; Apple changed its policy immediately and paid everyone—was a seismic example of a single artist’s toppling corporate might. At 26, Swift is world famous, wealthy, critically celebrated, a style influencer, and a cultural movement unto herself, recognizable everywhere she goes. She also has two awesome cats.
And yet today, in this chapel atop a hill in Reading, Pennsylvania, Swift is none of those things. She is the maid of honor at the wedding of her childhood friend Britany Maack. Swift and Maack have known each other since Swift was ten days old and have stayed close—there are grainy home videos of the two romping around a crib together and, more recently, photos of them sitting side by side at the 2014 Grammys. Last spring, after Swift accepted Britany’s invitation to be maid of honor via Instagram—kids today!—she took Maack to Reem Acra, where Britany got fitted for her custom hand-embroidered silk-taffeta wedding gown and Taylor for the blush-pink, cap-sleeved chiffon maid-of-honor dress that she has on today (the fitting was also Instagrammed, naturally). Swift has even known the groom, Benjamin LaManna, since kindergarten—she admits to having had a little crush on Ben way back then, when he was “that kid who sat next to me in class with the bowl cut and the Lego lunch box.”
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