Everyone remembers when they first encountered the enchanting wonder that is Taylor Swift, and the exact moment that they became a fan. This rings true for her real-life friends, including Shawn Mendes. On Wednesday, April 17, it was announced that Swift was honored with a spot on the TIME 100, the publication's annual list of the world's most influential people, landing one of the six covers of the 2019 issue. And Shawn Mendes' tribute to Taylor Swift published in TIME perfectly captures why she has so many Swifties at her side, and proves their friendship is actually genuine.
Like most Swifties, Mendes first became a fan of Swift's music before getting lucky enough to meet her. “I’ve been a Taylor Swift fan for as long as I can remember,” he began his essay. “But it wasn’t until I met and got to know her that I understood how wonderful a person she truly is.”
Mendes revealed that he first met Swift when he got the opportunity to open some of the stadium shows on her 1989 World Tour, and through that experience, he immediately understood the power of Swift and how she’s able to make such a magical connection with fans on stage. “I quickly learned that the magic of Taylor Swift doesn’t come from the lights, dancers or fireworks (although all of that is incredible) but from the electrifying connection that she has with the people who are there to see her,” he remarked.
As any Swiftie knows, going to a Taylor Swift concert is unlike any other experience, and Mendes knows exactly what makes it stand out. “There’s an overwhelming feeling in the air. 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.”
Mendes ended his tribute article by explaining what he learned from the singer and how she has influenced his own career goals. "The feeling is so thick, you feel like you could reach out and grab it to keep forever," he described. "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 later took to Instagram to express her gratitude for the Time 100 honor, and said that she didn’t even know Mendes was writing the piece until she read it herself today. “Well this is AWESOME,” she exclaimed. “Thank you for your unbelievably kind words @shawnmendes (I had no idea you were writing this and just found out when I saw this!!)”
Swift is also set to perform at the Time 100 Gala on April 23, just three days before the big date that the superstar has been teasing on social media. Could she be performing new music for attendees before the general public gets to hear anything? It's possible, but sure to make Swifties very jealous.