After an extended hiatus, Selena Gomez is back in action and ready to share her story with the world again. The pop star sat down with WSJ Magazine to talk all things music, personal health and friendship — specifically the crucial role that her best friend Taylor Swift played in her growth as a person.
Gomez and Swift first crossed paths when the singers were romantically involved with the Jonas Brothers (Nick and Joe, respectively) in 2008. Though their relationships didn't end in a happily ever after — both of their ex-boyfriends have since married other people — then-single gals Gomez and Swift emerged with a new, even stronger connection to each other.
“We clicked instantly and, man, that was my girl,” Gomez said of the "Lover" singer.
“There has always been this quality of sisterhood, and I don’t say that in a basic way,” Swift told WSJ Magazine. “I knew from when I met her I would always have her back. In my life, I have the ability to forgive people who have hurt me. But I don’t know if I can forgive someone who hurts her.”
It's true. The best friends have always had each other's back through thick and thin, even when the public doesn't see it. When Swift called out former record label Big Machine Records on Tumblr in 2019, claiming that the company had sold her masters to arch-nemesis Scooter Braun without telling her, a host of the singer's industry peers publicly supported her. But no one's fury rang louder than Gomez's, who threw shots at the music manager on her social media. (Braun also represents, and is close with, Gomez's ex Justin Bieber.)
"My heart is so heavy right now,” Gomez wrote on her Instagram Story after learning that Swift had allegedly been banned from performing her old music at the American Music Awards (which both Big Machine Records and Braun claimed was not true). “It makes me sick and extremely angry. I don’t mind if there may be retaliation. This is my opinion. It’s greed, manipulation and power."
Even though it's important for the friends to publicly support each other, Gomez is equally emphatic about keeping certain aspects of their decade-long friendship out of the spotlight. Because of that, she says, fans have no idea just how crucial Swift's role in her well-being has been. Gomez revealed that the singer-songwriter had flown to be by her side for heartbreaks, health scares, and more.
In addition to providing emotional support, the "You Need to Calm Down" singer also offers a unique creative lens for Gomez's process as an evolving artist; because Swift has seen Gomez through some of her earliest days as a fledgling musician, she can tell when her work is coming from a genuine place. Rare, Gomez's long-awaited forthcoming third studio album out January 10, got the thumbs-up.
“I remember Taylor said when I played her some of the new songs, ‘I feel like I’m seeing who you were before this,’ " Gomez told the magazine. “That makes me happy. I like feeling like that girl again.”
Rare, which will mark Gomez's return to music after a 4-year hiatus, is a narrative of personal growth in the face of hardship. But, as the singer's candid interview reveals, it is also a testament to the power of friendship.