Taylor Swift Made The Weeknd Uncomfortable By Petting His Dreadlocks When They First Met

Taylor Swift and The Weeknd are two of the biggest artists in the music industry today. They both have several Grammy Awards and number 1 hits under their belts and have created their own unique sounds. Swift debuted a few years before The Weeknd, and when they finally met, she made a lasting impression on the up-and-coming artist.

The Weeknd performs onstage during the 2018 Global Citizen Concert at Central Park, Great Lawn on September 29, 2018 in New York City | Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Global Citizen
The Weeknd performs onstage during the 2018 Global Citizen Concert at Central Park, Great Lawn on September 29, 2018 in New York City | Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Global Citizen

The Weeknd met Taylor Swift when his career was blowing up

The Weeknd’s mainstream breakout came in 2015 with his sophomore album Beauty Behind the Madness. It contained hit singles such as “The Hills,” “Can’t Feel My Face,” and “Often.”

After the Grammy Awards that year, The Weeknd found himself at a party for Sam Smith at a ritzy mansion in Bel-Air. Swift was there, along with other hitmakers such as Katy Perry and Ed Sheeran.

“Everyone was hammered,” he recalled in an interview with Rolling Stone. “Sam had just won, like, every Grammy, so he was having the time of his life… Everybody was having a great time, all these cool things were happening, and I was shaking, like — ‘F*ck, I really want a drink.’”

Swift approached him and began gushing about how much she loved his music, and that she’d been a fan since long before his big break. “She actually schooled me on my own sh*t,” he recalled. “She was like, ‘I’ve been listening to ‘The Morning’ [from his debut mixtape House of Balloons] for years — it’s one of my favorite songs ever!’”

He conceded that “she might have just Googled it, but she seemed genuine.”

Taylor Swift performs onstage during the 55th Academy of Country Music Awards at the Grand Ole Opry on September 16, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee | ACMA2020/Getty Images for ACM
Taylor Swift performs onstage during the 55th Academy of Country Music Awards at the Grand Ole Opry on September 16, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee | ACMA2020/Getty Images for ACM

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Taylor Swift pet The Weeknd’s hair when they first met

The Weeknd went on to describe the experience of meeting her and said she went on for about 15 minutes. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a fully comforting experience for him.

“The whole time she was talking, she was kind of, like, petting my hair?” he remembered. “I think she was just drawn to it — she must have been a little gone off a few drinks. And of course I’m not going to be like, ‘Hey, can you stop?’”

“I mean, it felt good!” he admitted about their conversation. “But when she started petting my hair, that’s when I was like, ‘I definitely need a drink.’”

The Weeknd rehearses for the Super Bowl LV Halftime Show at Raymond James Stadium on February 04, 2021 in Tampa, Florida | Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for TW
The Weeknd rehearses for the Super Bowl LV Halftime Show at Raymond James Stadium on February 04, 2021 in Tampa, Florida | Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for TW

The Weeknd cut his hair the following year

At the time, The Weeknd was sporting his signature Jean-Michel Basquiat-inspired dreadlocks that he had been growing out for four years. But in 2016, he decided he’d had enough and cut his hair.

“[Cutting it off] was the greatest feeling of all time. It was so good,” he told Zane Lowe on Beats 1. “I could sleep better, I felt lighter, and when I perform, I perform better and feel better. It’s cool.” 

“The best part about all of it is I get to wear f*cking hats again,” he added. “Just wear[ing] a f*cking cap and walk into a restaurant and nobody knows it’s you, it’s the greatest feeling.”