Every celebrity Taylor Swift mentions on Tortured Poets Department, from Charlie Puth to Patti Smith

A new Taylor Swift album means one thing to the codebreakers known as Swifties: spending hours poring over every line, allusion, and reference, figuring out what it all means in the scope of Swift’s life and lore. Now that The Tortured Poets Department, her 11th studio album (not counting the re-records), has dropped, it’s time once again to grab the magnifying glass and the encyclopedia to get to the bottom of her lyrics.

Characters of all kinds populate Swift’s work, starting from her very first album; in “Teardrops on My Guitar” from Taylor Swift, she mentions the real-life Drew, a classmate she had a crush on, and even names an entire song after Tim McGraw. Throughout her discography, Swift has alluded to certain people — IYKYK — but also mentioned others by name, like her BFF Abigail in “Fifteen” and Rebekah Harkness, star of her folklore song “the last great american dynasty.” Given the confessional, diaristic vibe of much of her work, this makes sense; she’s writing about both her lived experiences and imagined ones, so literary references and nods to the people in her life are bound to come up. It’s a tale as told as time! The Tortured Poets Department has its fair share of name drops, with most of them occurring in two specific songs.

Below, learn more about each name check on Taylor Swift’s new album, The Tortured Poets Department.

Charlie Puth

The first viral lyric from TTPD involved musician Charlie Puth; in the song of the same name, Swift sings, “You smoked and ate seven bars of chocolate/We declared Charlie Puth should be a bigger artist/I scratch your head, you fall asleep like a tattooed Golden Retriever.”

This is a seemingly random reference to the musician and his career, though Puth has covered Swift songs in the past, including “Teardrops on my Guitar” off her first self-titled album.


Swift references a “Lucy” on The Tortured Poets Department (the song), which could be a nod to Lucy Dacus, member of boygenius; Swift is friends with the group. “Sometimes I wonder if you’re going to screw this up with me/But you tell Lucy you’d kill yourself if I ever leave,” she sings, referencing the subject of the song.

If the song is indeed about Swift’s brief, rumoured relationship with The 1975’s Matty Healy, as some have speculated, it’s worth noting that Healy and Dacus have history; in addition to her bandmate Phoebe Bridgers having a friendship with him, Healy also deactivated his Twitter/X account after an exchange with Dacus. But again, big grain of salt here!

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This one is easy. The “Jack” Swift sings about in the titular song is probably Jack Antonoff. Maybe you’ve heard of him? He’s been Swift’s go-to producer for years and the two are close friends. Antonoff also works with Lana Del Rey, as well as a bevy of other musicians. After referencing Lucy, Swift sings, “And I had said that to Jack about you/So I felt seen/Everyone we know understands why it’s meant to be/’Cause we’re crazy.”


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