Is Taylor Swift our nicest pop star?

A semi-comprehensive catalog of the star's good deeds

By Anna Silman
May 1, 2015 12:39AM (UTC)
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Taylor Swift (AP/Greg Allen)

This morning, Taylor Swift made headlines once again after reaching out to a 12-year-old cancer patient with a ten-minute phone call, and then offering her tickets and a one-on-one meeting at her Detroit concert in May.

While lots of celebrities maintain close relationships with fan communities, Swift has always been in a league of her own (she resembles, per reporter Howard Gensler, "a one-woman Make-A-Wish Foundation"). Much like loving cats and engaging in tumultuous romances, building one-on-one relationships with her fans is one of the most enduring attributes of the Taylor Swift™ brand -- and one of the reasons why she has the most loyal supporters of any artist in the business. Swift has reconstructed the fan-artist relationship to make it feel like a friendship, and whether or not she has ulterior motives for her good deeds (or just has no concept of money) she sure does manage to get a lot done. She's a gift-wrapping monster!

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Here's a look at just a few of T-Swift's good deeds throughout the years. For the purposes of the list, we've stuck with individual acts of kindness and omitted wider charitable contribution, of which there are many.

  • She donated $10,000 and Taylor Swift concert tickets to students from Boston’s Horace Mann School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing after they were the victims of a cruel prank
  • She sent “Swiftmas” gifts to some diehard fans
  • She FaceTimed with a 4-year-old terminally ill cancer patient
  • After a New Jersey teen with cancer invited Swift to prom, she responded by inviting him to the Academy of Country Music Awards
  • She sent flowers to the family of a fallen soldier
  • She sent gifts and promised tickets to a fan who missed her show because of a drunk driving accident
  • She held “secret sessions” of her album 1989 for diehard fans at her home, which included feeding them cookies she baked herself
  • She visited child cancer patients at Sloan-Kettering
  • She paid a surprise visit to play songs for patients at the Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Rhode Island
  • She visited a 7-year-old fan with leukemia at Boston Children’s Hospital and played a song for him. On the same visit, she duetted an Adele song with a 20-year-old leukemia patient
  • She donated $4,000 to a fan with no home (maybe)
  • She crashed a fan’s bridal shower
  • She invited members of a Kentucky frat to one of their concerts after they did a lip dub to "Shake it Off"
  • She did a spontaneous photoshoot with a fan in the park
  • After a fan expressed how Swift’s music helped her through a tough time, Swift showed up to her house with presents, including a toy Mercedes for her son
  • She gave her fans positive reinforcement on Instagram
  • She wrote a song, “Ronan,” about a young boy who died of brain cancer (and later donated $100,000 of the proceeds from the song to the V foundation for cancer research)
  • She surprised a super-fan on "Ellen"
  • She gave a fan $90 to buy Chipotle for her birthday after running into her
  • She left a $500 tip at a Philadelphia Italian restaurant
  • She met with an 11-year-old leukemia patient at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field
  • She hung out with a 12-year-old fan with a life-threatening heart condition
  • She gave a fan $1,989 to pay off her student loans

Taylor Swift is a better person than you are.


Anna Silman

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