Even a mastermind like Taylor Swift needs a backup plan.
Swift, 34, resumed the international leg of her Eras Tour in Tokyo on Wednesday, February 7, and took a moment to celebrate her recent Grammy Awards success. During a break in the Evermore set, Swift opened up about announcing her upcoming 11th album, The Tortured Poets Department, at the awards show.
“Going to the Grammys, going in, I had this plan,” she told the audience while sitting at her moss-covered piano. “I had told my friends, I told Jack [Antonoff], but I hadn’t really told very many other people. I thought, ‘OK, if I’m lucky enough to win one thing tonight, I’m just gonna do it. I’m just gonna announce my album.’ And luckily enough, that ended up happening.”
The audience erupted into loud cheers as Swift repeated the name of her new record. “My backup plan was I was gonna do it tonight in Tokyo,” she continued. “But thanks to you and your support, I was lucky enough to win a Grammy and tell you about it on stage at the Grammys. … We can debrief tonight and talk about it.”
Swift took fans by surprise at the awards show on Sunday, February 4, when she accepted her first win of the night for Best Pop Vocal Album. (Before the ceremony, dedicated Swifties believed there were clues that pointed to her announcing Reputation as her next rerecorded album.)
“[The way I can celebrate] is by telling you a secret that I’ve been keeping from you for the past two years, which is that my brand new album comes out April 19,” she said while holding her 13th Grammy trophy. “It’s called The Tortured Poets Department, and I’m going to go post the cover right now backstage.”
Swift subsequently took to Instagram to share the album artwork, which showed her on a bed in black lingerie. A second photo featured a handwritten poem reading, “And so I enter into evidence my tarnished coat of arms. My muses acquired like bruises, my talismans and charms. The tick, tick, tick of love bombs. My view of pitch-black ink. All’s fair in love and poetry … Sincerely, The Chairman of the Tortured Poets Department.”
On Sunday, Swift went on to win Album of the Year for her 2022 record, Midnights, making history as the first person to win the category four times. She debuted the track list for her 11th album one day before taking the stage in Tokyo.
“I’ve been working on Tortured Poets since right after I turned in Midnights,” she said during her concert on Wednesday. “You turn in an album months in advance … so I started working on it immediately after that and I’ve been working on it for about two years. I kept working on it throughout the U.S. tour and when it was perfect, in my opinion, when it was good enough for you, I finished it.”
Swift told the crowd that she was “so, so excited” for them to hear her new music. “Soon we’ll get to experience that together,” she continued. “I’m over the moon about the fact that you guys care about my music, it still blows my mind. I love doing this.”
While playing her piano, Swift joked about how she’s managed to churn out album after album since releasing Folklore in 2020. “Everyone’s like, ‘Why do you make so many albums?’ And I’m like, ‘Man, because I love it! I love it so much! I’m having fun, leave me alone.’”
Swift went on to thank her “amazing” and “supportive” fan base for helping her make history. “A direct reflection of [your support] is that the Grammys [and] the Recording Academy decided to give Midnights Album of the Year,” she said. “I cannot thank you enough. This is just the craziest, most joyful experience. And then getting to come here and get to thank you and see you right after that happened … I’m in a really good mood.”
The Eras Tour continues in Tokyo from Thursday, February 8, to Saturday, February 10.