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Taylor Swift On “Cruel Summer” Becoming a Single Four Years Late


Dust off your pastels and find something to bedazzle because we’re all about to spend the summer back in our collective Lover Era, as Taylor Swift has a new old single. The song her label picked as her next single is four years old but as popular as ever.

“Cruel Summer” (from 2019’s Lover) is taking a surprise trip to radio this summer and the whole journey is surprising organic (you know, for a label-promoted single at least).

The short version is that the song is being streamed so much right now that Swift’s label, Republic, was like, “Oh, we should monetize that give the fans what they want.” Swift, however, has deeper feelings about the news because, like many people, “Cruel Summer” is her personal favorite track from Lover. The long version is this 1:41 speech Swift gave about “Cruel Summer” becoming her next single this weekend in Pittsburgh.

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“The weirdest, most magical thing is happening. It’s never happened to me in the whole time I’ve ever been doing this,” she explained of the development during her Eras Tour concert Saturday night at Acrisure Stadium. “‘Cruel Summer’ is a song, I just played it a second ago. I don’t know if you remember. We had a blast, yeah? The one with the bridge where we all screamed. ‘Cruel Summer’ was on the Lover album. That album came out four years ago. And I just need to let you know something: ‘Cruel Summer,’ that song was my pride and joy on that album.”

Fair, because just listen to it:

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Wondering why it took four years for “Cruel Summer” to be released as a single, since it’s Swift’s favorite? She explained:

“You have conversations before the album comes out. Everybody around weighs in on what they think should be singles. I was finally, finally about to have my favorite song become the single—off of Lover,” she explained. Unfortunately, “Cruel Summer” was supposed to be a single in 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic was happening. Releasing a song called Cruel Summer,” thus, wasn’t a great idea.

“I’m not trying to blame the global pandemic that we had, but that is something that happened that stopped ‘Cruel Summer’ from ever being a single,” she said. “No one understands how this is happening, but you guys have streamed ‘Cruel Summer’ so much right now in 2023 that it’s like at the top—it’s like rising on the streaming charts so crazy that my label just decided to make it the next single.”

Headshot of Kayleigh Roberts

Kayleigh Roberts is the weekend editor at Cosmo, focused on celebrity news and royals. She’s a Ravenclaw who would do great things in Slytherin. To learn more about her, google “Leslie Knope eating salad GIF.”



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