6 Stars Who Owe Career Milestones to Taylor Swift

by Sophie Schillaci 12:52 PM PDT, May 28, 2015
Photo: Getty Images

Taylor Swift gets things done. Seriously.

Not only has this 25-year-old grown from an aspiring country teen starlet to a global pop phenomenon, she's taken plenty of her nearest and dearest along for the ride.

Earlier this week, Kendrick Lamar became the latest star to achieve a new career high thanks to Swift's star-power. Now ET takes a look back at six stars who have scored major boosts from Ms. Swift over the years.

PICS: All of Taylor Swift's Fashionable On-Stage Looks!


Kendrick Lamar:

Let's just call this: adding fuel to the fire.

Months after Lamar earned his first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200, Swift enlisted the rapper's talents for her buzzed-about "Bad Blood" video debut. Along with a laundry list of Swift's gal pals, Lamar provided the video's lone Y-chromosome and contributed not one, but two new verses to the revenge anthem.

Long story short: The single skyrocketed to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, marking Lamar's first ever chart-topping hit.

And not to discredit his own album's success, but Swift did boldly name drop him in her September 2014 Rolling Stone cover story. Five months later, after a series of back-and-forth social media exchanges and fun lip-sync videos, Lamar has his first No. 1 album. We're just saying!   

WATCH: Taylor Swift Finally Drops Star-Studded 'Bad Blood' Music Video


Nicki Minaj:

When Swift and Minaj were named Woman of the Year and Rising Star of the Year, respectively, at the 2011 Billboard Women in Music Awards, they were more closely linked than some might imagine. In fact, during a tearful acceptance speech, Minaj credited Swift with the stratospheric success of her crossover hit, "Super Bass."

"First I saw a radio interview, and they asked her what song she liked and she said, 'Can it be a song that didn't come out yet?' and she started rapping 'Super Bass,'" Minaj recalled. "Then she tweeted that she liked 'Super Bass' and then all of her fans who had never heard about Nicki Minaj went and purchased it. After Taylor tweeted that, 'Super Bass' climbed up 80-something spots the same day on iTunes."

Swift not only tweeted about the song -- that same year, she invited Minaj to join her on-stage during a high-profile performance at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, where they turned "Super Bass" into a crowd-pleasing duet. "Taylor started this 'Super Bass' frenzy, and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart," Minaj said on stage.  

WATCH: So, Is Nicki Minaj Engaged or Not?


Ed Sheeran:

The charming Brit was well on his way to superstardom (Hello! He counts Elton John and Paul McCartney among his famous fans) when he and Swift wrote the Red single "Everything Has Changed." And then, just like that, everything did change.

Sure, Sheeran's 2011 debut album + featured hit singles like "The A Team" and "Lego House," and was certified 6x Platinum in his native UK, but it was his opening slot on Swift's Red tour that truly certified Sheeran as a global phenomenon.

The following year, Sheeran scored his first No. 1 album in the U.S. with x -- which had been mostly written and recorded during his stint on the Red tour. Now, he's headlining his own arena shows with tour dates in Asia, Europe, North America, South America and Australia, performing show-stopping renditions of his new hits, "Sing," "Don't," "Thinking Out Loud," and "Bloodstream" among them.

WATCH: Ed Sheeran Has His Eye on Taylor Swift's Music Crown


Hunter Hayes:

Even before releasing his debut album, Hayes snagged an opening slot on 10 of Swift's Speak Now World Tour dates in the summer of 2011.

So, was Swift responsible for the massive success of what would become Hayes breakout single, "Wanted"? Probably not (entirely). But hey, she did give him one heck of an audience. According to Billboard, Speak Now brought in 1,356,720 attendees over the course of 89 shows. (That’s an average of 15 thousand fans per show!) 

WATCH: Hunter Hayes Adorably Freaks Out Over Performing With an Icon


Shawn Mendes:

Mendes made a name for himself the new-school way -- no, not on YouTube, that is soooo 2007 Justin Bieber -- on Vine. The six-second video platform was enough to land Mendes a major label deal in 2014. His debut single "Life of the Party" was successful, sure, but didn't quite crack the Billboard Hot 100's Top 20.

Come November, Swift sprinkled her fairy dust on Mendes and Australian singer-songwriter Vance Joy, tapping both to open for her on the 1989 Take Over the World Tour. In a bit of perfect timing, Mendes' first full-length album Handwritten debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 just before Swift kicked off her 1989 tour. (And, to be fair, his previously-released EP did hit No. 1 on iTunes in 37 minutes last summer.)

Did Swift use her social media prowess to snag a rising superstar in the making? Perhaps, (and we'd expect nothing less from her) but as Mendes said himself: "Taylor Swift to me is the coolest tour I could possibly be on ever. You can't really beat that tour so that was the biggest news," he told MTV. "It's almost like as a kid when you try out for a rec soccer team or hockey team and you get the call like you made the team. I had that same exact feeling."

WATCH: Shawn Mendes on His Crazy Fans and Celeb Crush


Last but not least, The Girlfriends:

For an artist that has pushed boundaries and championed for feminism, we were surprised to find so few females emerge for this list. Unless, of course, one counts Swift's ever-growing gaggle of girlfriends.

We could argue that simply befriending Swift is its own form of career success. A shout-out on Swift's social media could mean thousands of new followers, while a night out on the town with her almost always translates to free publicity. (Or, for some, a role in her new music video and a front row seat at the Billboard Music Awards.)

By those standards, shall we add a few more to the list? For starters, Hailee Steinfeld, Karlie Kloss, Cara Delevigne, Selena Gomez, Lorde, Lena Dunham, HAIM, Lily Aldridge, and Fifth Harmony's Camila Cabello, to name a few.

NEWS: Taylor Swift's Top 7 Besties of 2014, Ranked

And let's not forgot about Swift's "long list of ex-lovers" -- Joe Jonas, Taylor Lautner, Harry Styles and Jake Gyllenhaal among them. As for her current lover, get the latest on Swift's date night with Calvin Harris in the video below.

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Update: The headline of this story has been changed from "6 Stars Who Owe Their Careers to Taylor Swift" to more accurately reflect the tone of the piece.