Despite being all about “ME!”, Taylor Swift decided to share the spotlight in her new, highly-anticipated single. Featured in her rainbow-drenched new song “ME!,” off of her upcoming seventh album, is Brendon Urie of pop-punk band Panic! At The Disco.
To some, this team-up might seem a bit random, despite Swift having dipped into different styles and working with different male features in the past. But look more closely, and you’ll see that Urie and Swift’s collaboration has actually been years in the making.
Swift has mentioned a few times over the years that she's a Panic! At The Disco fan — most recently in April ELLE cover story. “When I hear 'I Write Sins Not Tragedies' by Panic! At The Disco," said Swift, "I’m transported back to being 16 and driving down the streets of Hendersonville, TN, with my best friend Abigail, euphorically screaming the lyrics.”
Abigail, Taylor Swift's aforementioned childhood best friend, even quoted "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" in her Instagram post congratulation Swift on her ELLE cover: "Well this calls for a toast, so pour the champagne."
That particular song off of Panic! At The Disco's debut 2005 album, A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, is what first catapulted the band to fame, with lead singer Brendon Urie as the charismatic, quirky face of the group. Two members of the group left in 2009 to work on music with a more Beatles/Beach Boys-esque retro rock, while Urie and drummer Spencer Smith (who left the group in 2015) continued making their shinier pop-punk music under the same band name. Now, despite having other touring members, Panic! At The Disco is embodied by Urie himself. Who, it turns out, has been a Swiftie for a while.
Back in 2014, Urie shared that he wished to work with Swift.
"T. Swift, honestly from the get-go I was into that girl," Urie told PopCrush. "She’s super talented, really smart songwriter, really fun. She seems like really fun to work with. Either way, it would just be fun."
And later, in 2018, he cranked up his admiration up a notch. He was spotted at the Pasadena, CA stop of Swift's Reputation Tour.
He also covered her song "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" on a Twitch livestream in late 2018 — which begs the question: Had they already recorded "ME!" together?
"Taylor Swift is just a beast in the music world and I mean that in the best way possible," Urie said. "She has this way of controlling a crowd and making it look so easy. I feel like I’m working so hard on stage, she looks like she’s at five percent but somehow giving her all."
And her Swifties, being the sharp detectives that they are, found evidence of this potential collaboration right before the video was released, though some were skeptical of its validity.
Their collaboration also makes sense artistically, as they share polished pop styles and a proclivity for major theatricality in their work (and drumline outfits?). It's always nice to see mutual fans get together to create music, so hopefully Urie and Swift's work together doesn't stop here.