How Taylor Swift’s string of British boyfriends all made millions after dating the star… and how her new American hunk Travis Kelce might be following in their footsteps

When a man dates Taylor Swift there are three things he can be sure of. Her army of fans, the Swifties, will scrutinise his every move, the relationship will be given a title – a mash-up of their names but with Taylor’s dominant – and he will end up much richer than he was before he caught the eye of the world’s biggest pop star.

Examine the career trajectories of everyone from Harry Styles and Calvin Harris to Tom Hiddleston and Joe Alwyn and you will be persuaded that their relationship with a certain 35-year-old billionaire turbocharged their path to stardom,

Styles was dating Ms Swift when One Direction took the US by storm in 2012. A song co-written by Swift turned Harris from a top DJ into a fully-fledged hit-maker.

Headline-grabbing antics during a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it liaison with Swift, transported Hiddleston into the A-list. And Joe Alwyn has no need to worry about his Hollywood career because the song-writing credits his ex-girlfriend so generously granted him will keep him in millions for the rest of his life.


The latest man to win the golden ticket is the Kansas City Chiefs star, Travis Kelce, 34

The latest man to win the golden ticket is the Kansas City Chiefs star, Travis Kelce, 34

Joe Alwyn has no need to worry about his Hollywood career because the song-writing credits his ex-girlfriend so generously granted him will keep him in millions for the rest of his life

Joe Alwyn has no need to worry about his Hollywood career because the song-writing credits his ex-girlfriend so generously granted him will keep him in millions for the rest of his life


 


No one has a fan-base to match Swift’s and – as long as they play the game – her boyfriends are welcomed into fold.

The latest man to win the golden ticket is the Kansas City Chiefs star, Travis Kelce, 34.

American Football fans fiercely deny Ms Swift has helped the three-time Super Bowl winner’s career but it’s hard to ignore the fact that his status as the latest Mr Swift has boosted his profile globally.

Last September, after Swift was first seen supporting him at a Kansas City Chiefs game, ‘Travis Kelce’ became the top Google search term, with more than 5million queries.

And his star has been in the ascendant ever since. Sales of his No 87 shirt skyrocketed 400 per cent and listeners to his TikTok podcast, New Heights, with his brother, Jason (a former American footballer himself), increased by a factor of four.


Before ‘Traylor’, the show’s listening base was 32 per cent female, now it’s 50 per cent. And Kelce has played up to this new-found listenership, many of them undoubtedly Swifties, by dropping mentions of their relationship into every episode since Traylor went public.

After that football game in September, Travis told his brother on the podcast: ‘Obviously, we’re together but I have to keep some things private so I won’t be sharing details moving forward.’

The pop superstar performs on the first night of her Eras Tour in Arlington, Texas, on March 31

The pop superstar performs on the first night of her Eras Tour in Arlington, Texas, on March 31

A song co-written by Swift turned Calvin Harris from a cult DJ into a mainstream success story


A song co-written by Swift turned Calvin Harris from a cult DJ into a mainstream success story

Harry Styles was dating Ms Swift when One Direction took the US by storm in 2012

Harry Styles was dating Ms Swift when One Direction took the US by storm in 2012

 

Such good intentions were soon kicked into touch. Kelce has gone on to talk about a date at Sydney Zoo, what happened at the 2024 Super Bowl afterparty and, most recently, the news that he was looking at lab-grown diamonds – a revelation that sent Swifties into a frenzy of engagement speculation.

It’s clearly a winning formula. Earlier this month, the podcast by the brothers Kelce won iHeartRadio’s Podcast of the Year award and they are set to pick up many more accolades after becoming Spotify’s most listened-to sports podcast.

Ms Swift’s fans have been quick to highlight Kelce’s apparent game-plan, with one writing on Instagram: ‘The Kelces are not foolish. Swifties produce ratings. Mention Taylor and you get ratings.’

It seems the Shake It Off singer is very aware of the effect she has on her boyfriends’ careers as, in her 2017 hit, I Did Something Bad, she wrote: ‘If he drops my name, then I owe him nothing, And if he spends my change, then he had it coming.’

So what of previous Mr Swifts? Harry Styles is now an international superstar in his own right. But it was a different story back in 2012 when he embarked on a short-lived relationship with Swift.

She was 22, he was 18, and the couple dubbed ‘Haylor’ dated for ten months. Their relationship coincided with Styles pulling off a coup that many British artists long to achieve – he broke into the American market.

Up until 2012, One Direction was virtually unknown outside the UK and, when it did land a US tour, it was not the headline act but the support group for another boy band, Big Time Rush (me neither).

The day before One Direction performed their first gig at New York’s Madison Square Garden, Swift and Styles were photographed walking together in Central Park.

After enjoying a month of being seen kissing in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, wearing the same paper aeroplane necklace and even being involved in a snowmobile accident together, they split in January 2013.

Both, however, profited from the relationship, with Styles going on to enjoy a meteroic rise in the US. with his third studio album, Harry’s House, winning two Grammys.


Inspired by the breakup, Swift referenced Styles in a number of songs on her fifth album, 1989, including Style and Out Of The Woods. What greater imprimatur can a man hope for in the modern world?

Next in line for a leg-up from the biggest megastar on the planet was the Scottish DJ Calvin Harris. At the time, had had just one Top 5 hit but his career was catapulted into the stratosphere in 2016 by the release of This Is What You Came For, a song written by Harris and one Nils Sjöberg, a name that turned out to be a pseudonym for Ms Swift.

With Rihanna on the vocals, the song is – to this day – Harris’s highest-peaking single as a lead artist in the US.

But its release was not without controversy. In response to being asked about the possibility of collaborating with his girlfriend during an interview with TV presenter Ryan Seacrest, Harris said: ‘I can’t see it happening.’

Shortly afterwards, he had to perform a humiliating climbdown on Twitter, confirming that Swift wrote the lyrics and contributed some background vocals while he ‘wrote the music, produced the song, arranged it and cut Rihanna’s vocals’.

Next up was Tom Hiddleston. The 26-year-old Ms Swift met the 43-year-old star of BBC hit drama The Night Manager at the 2016 Met Gala and the pair dated for three months.

During the singer’s Fourth of July party, Hiddleston cavorted around Rhode Island beach with the likes of Gigi Hadid, Cara Delevingne and Blake Lively – Ms Swift’s loyal besties – wearing a white tank-top emblazoned ‘I Heart TS’.

The ‘Hiddleswift’ phenomenon certainly boosted Hiddleston’s profile as speculation swirled that he was being lined up to be the next 007 and he landed the cover of numerous magazines over their summer of love, including the August issue of W wearing nothing but tight-white boxers.

If Tom Hiddleston was looking for fame, he certainly achieved it, after dating Swift

If Tom Hiddleston was looking for fame, he certainly achieved it, after dating Swift

 

But the romance fizzled out and it wasn’t long before another Englishman, up-and-coming actor Joe Alwyn, 33, became the object of Taylor’s affections.

Notoriously private, ‘Jaylor’ were first photographed together in 2017, enjoying coffee on a balcony in Nashville. Two years later, engagement rumours were sparked when her album Lover alluded to marriage but neither party confirmed or denied the rumour.

This appears to have been part of a premeditated policy. Alwyn once told an interviewer: ‘If I had a pound for every time I think I’ve been told I’ve been engaged, then I’d have a lot of pound coins. I mean, the truth is, if the answer was yes, I wouldn’t say, and if the answer was no, I wouldn’t say.’

His acting career blossomed quietly alongside Ms Swift’s monumental success and he could be seen in her 2020 Miss Americana Netflix documentary cheering her on from the wings on one of her tour dates.

After finishing her Reputation show, the star rushed off stage to hug her other half.

That same year Alwyn was cast in his biggest role to date: the BBC adaptation of Sally Rooney’s bestseller Conversations With Friends.

When he and Swift first got together, he was a little-known actor who had appeared in a handful of indie films but, thanks to their high-profile partnership, he won a new legion of fans. By the time their six-year relationship came to an end, the shy Bristol drama graduate had morphed into one of Hollywood’s leading men.

But where he makes his most money – what we might call the ‘Swift dividend’ – is from his songwriting credits on her past three albums.

‘Fair or not, it’s made him a very rich guy,’ a source told Life And Style magazine. ‘Joe is making so much on royalties and returns from [Taylor’s] Eras tour that he doesn’t ever need to worry about money again.’ His earnings from Spotify streams alone were estimated to be $2.3million.

Alwyn, who is credited under the pseudonym William Bowery, co-wrote six songs with Swift, including Exile and Betty on her 2020 album Folklore, which earned him a Grammy.

One boyfriend whose reputation was hard to save was the frontman for band The 1975, Matty Healy, 34, who was briefly linked to Swift last May.

Unusually, the Swifties did not take their heroine’s latest love interest to their hearts. The serpent in their paradise was the Healy’s tendency to speak first and think afterwards. He had once called the female rapper Ice Spice ‘this chubby Chinese lady’ and ‘Inuit Spice Girl’ and the Swifties were not happy.

They even launched a #SpeakUpNow campaign against Swift, which demanded that she give ‘more than a simple apology’ for Healy’s ‘bigoted’ remarks.

A statement read: ‘Use your platform responsibly and intentionally. Advocate for inclusivity, celebrate diversity and promote empathy and understanding.’

In June last year, barely a month after their names were first linked, it was reported that Matty and Taylor were no longer seeing each other.

Travis Kelce, however, appears to be playing a blinder. Only this week, he and Swift were snapped strolling hand-in-hand on a beach in the Bahamas. Could it be that la Swift, so often unlucky in love, has found Mr Right at last?



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