Taylor Swift has returned to the stage for the first time since details emerged of her split from longtime boyfriend Joe Alwyn. The 33-year-old superstar arrived on stage in Tampa, Florida to tens of thousands of screaming fans as she launched into 'Miss Americana and the Heartbreak Prince' off her 2019 album Lover.
But ahead of singing hit single 'Lover', a romantic tribute to their six-year romance, she said: "We're going to go on a grand adventure this evening, take a little trip through 17 years of music, one era at a time. These songs are about my life or about fictional characters I've created, but at the end of the day I hope these songs can be part of your life."
"The song we are going to play next, it's just a love song, you know?" she then quipped.
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Athough it was the same statement she had made at previous shows, it took on a different meaning in the wake of their split.
Taylor and British actor Joe have kept their six-and-a half-year relationship out of the spotlight, and have only publicly mentioned each other in passing.
The pair met after being introduced by mutual friends in 2016, and made their first public appearance at the 2020 Golden Globe Awards.
Her surprise songs for the night were 'Speak Now' from the 2010 album of the same name, and 'Trechorous' from 2012's Red, and talking to fans at the Raymond James Stadium before the second song, she said: "I am going to play one of my favorite songs, I love this one and I am so proud of this onem, and lets see if you are excited about it to. I don't know if I have ever played [this song] on piano, so thats a piece of boring information for you."
'Speak Now' is a song that calls on a groom to leave his bride at the altar for a former love, while 'Treachorous' is about falling in love with someone who may not be right for you; "I hear the sound of my own voice asking you to stay," she sings.
Many of Taylor's songs from the last five years have been about Joe, including 'King of my Heart' from Reputation and 'Mastermind' from Midnights.
The Conversations With Friends actor had also contributed seven songs to Taylor's last three albums, and he won a Grammy for his work on her 2020 album Folklore.
Among the tracks that Joe has writing credits on - under the pseudonym William Bowery - are "'Exile' and 'Betty' from Folklore, 'Champagne Problems,' 'Coney Island' and 'Evermore' off Evermore, and 'Sweet Nothing' from her recent release Midnights.
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