Taylor Swift‘s impact on the world is being celebrated.
On Wednesday, the 29-year-old pop star was named one of TIME‘s 100 Most Influential People along with the likes of Michelle Obama, BTS, Emilia Clarke, Ariana Grande, Lady Gaga and Chrissy Teigen. Swift also scored one of six covers for this year’s magazine, the others of which went to Dwayne Johnson, Sandra Oh, Gayle King, politician Nancy Pelosi and soccer star Mohamed Salah.
In honour of Swift’s accomplishment, her friend and peer, Shawn Mendes, pens an essay for the “Shake It Off” singer, praising her songwriting flair, performing prowess and ability to connect with a crowd.
Mendes, who says he’s been a fan of Swift “as long as I can remember,” writes that she “makes the job of creating music for millions of people look easy.”
“It all comes from her — her belief in magic and love, and her ability to be as honest and raw as possible,” he writes of the “wonderful” Swift. “She’s the master of putting the perfect amount of thought into not overthinking, and that’s why her music connects so well.”
The 20-year-old “Stitches” singer also reflects about his time on Swift’s 1989 World Tour, where he learned that her “incredible” staging and effects aren’t just what draw people in, but rather it’s “the electrifying connection that she has with the people who are there to see her.”
He describes Swift’s shows as “overwhelming” and praises how she inspires her fans to love fearlessly and out loud.
“[There’s] the feeling of your heart racing in your chest with excitement — so much so that by the time you get to ‘Love Story,’ all you want to do is pick up your phone and text every person you know to say how much you love them,” he writes. “The feeling is so thick, you feel like you could reach out and grab it to keep forever.”
Mendes also reveals the specific aspect of Swift’s career he’d like to emulate in his own, writing, “Taylor makes anyone older feel young again and anyone young feel they can do anything. It’s so rare and so special. If there is one thing I want to achieve in my career and life, it’s that.”
Swift’s latest honour comes amid some cryptic social media posts from the “Delicate” singer, which hint at new music being released on April 26. So far she’s posted a countdown clock and pics featuring her cats, jewelry and ruffles. If the speculation is true, this would be her seventh album.
At the iHeartRadio Music Awards last month, Swift teased that new songs may not be so far off.
“I love your passion, I love your attention to detail, I love how much you care. I love seeing all the things you’re posting online,” she told fans. “I just wanted to let you know that when there is new music, you will be the first to know.”
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