There’s no doubt about it – Taylor Swift has had a mind-blowing phenomenal year.
Before our very eyes, she has transformed herself from a gawky country singer with a history of strewn relationships that went wrong to a glamorous (and arguably the world’s biggest) pop star. And she has managed to maintain a relationship with superstar DJ Calvin Harris. Forbes recently announced that this duo dethroned Beyonce and Jay Z as the world’s richest couple from the number one spot with a calculated combined earning of $146 million over the past year.
And Taylor is on the money.
A flurry of reports circulated in the U.K. this week that she was set to earn $375 million this year alone – yes, that’s right, $1 million a day. However, Forbes predicts she will most likely only earn $280 million in gross ticket sales.
But what really has seen Taylor’s star rise is her self-titled “girl squad,” which comprises of the hottest young women currently on the planet.
The proof of this?
Taylor’s Sin City themed video for “Bad Blood” featured a slew of bold-faced names such as Selena Gomez, Gigi Hadid, Ellie Goulding, Cara Delevingne, Lena Dunham, Mariska Hargitay, Martha Hunt, Jessica Alba, Cindy Crawford, Lili Alridge, Hayley Williams, and best pal Karlie Kloss to name just a few. The appearance of the women helped Taylor break the record for most-watched video in 24 hours on Vevo, garnering a staggering 20.1 million views in 24 hours.
So who are the women in the 25-year-old’s inner glam squad who, between them, have raked in $102.5 million last year alone?
Here’s what you need to know about these head-turning girls who, along with Taylor, are ruling the social media world.
10. Jaime King – Taylor Is Son’s Godmother
She was a supermodel, then an actress, starring in Pearl Harbor and Sin City, to name just a few.
And when she’s not lighting up the screen, Jaime King is a doting mom to two boys, and one, happens to have a very famous godmother in the form of Taylor Swift.
As to why she chose Taylor to be godmother to her youngest son, Leo Thames, Jaime explained: “I always thought if I were to have another child that she would be the ideal godmother because the way she not only treats me but the way she treats other human beings. She’s so loving and so giving and so generous and she does everything from her heart and she’s incredibly brave and authentic. It’s a very rare thing to come across.”
She continued, “I know that [our baby] will always have a very good person and role model through her.”
9. Kendall Jenner – Squashed Beef
There’s long been rumors that Taylor and Kendall Jenner didn’t like each other – in fact, they hated each other.
That turns out to not be the case and they found the perfect way to quash the unfounded reports once and for all when Kendall made an appearance at Taylor’s 1989 World Tour in London, strutting down the catwalk as the singer performed her hit song, “Style.”
As for Kendall, we know pretty much everything about her right? She’s part of the Kardashian clan and now an international model, joining Forbes magazine’s The World’s Highest Paid Models list for 2015.
But did you know her favorite junk food is “Fritos Chili Cheese Chips,” and her celebrity crush is Ryan Gosling?
These two are little known facts.
8. Lily Aldridge – Shoes And Friendship
Lily Aldridge is the impossibly glamorous supermodel wife of rocker, Caleb Followill of Kings of Leon, and counts Taylor as one of her best friends.
The two have walked the Victoria’s Secret runway for two years in a row and a close friendship was formed.
“Taylor just loves her friends, and so do I. My girls are my girls,” she told Net-A-Porter’s The EDIT magazine.
“We’re such a close-knit group of women, and the most special thing about our group of friends – and it extends so far – is that we all have each other’s backs,” she added.
A fascinating fact about the 29-year-old stunner: she has 100 pairs of shoes.
7. Cara Delevingne – The Aristocratic Connection
She’s arguably one of the most sought-after models in the world and is now carving out a career as an actress.
But an equally fascinating element about Cara Delevingne is her ability to not conform to convention, which is evident by her public love affairs with women.
The 23-year-old English-born supermodel, who famously said that being bisexual is “not a phase,” recently split from singer St. Vincent after 8 months of dating. Previously she had enjoyed a hot fling with actress Michelle Rodriguez.
As for Taylor, who she met at the Victoria’s Secret show in 2013, Cara said: “She’s such a nice person. She’s so inspiring. She was someone that I met and I was really surprised by how lovely she was. I met her mum and dad straight away. This girl is wholesome and so sweet.”
A little known fact about Cara outside of the U.K. – she comes from what are called country aristocrats, with the Delevingne clan being one of London’s best-connected high society families
6. Martha Hunt – Battles Scoliosis
Martha Hunt’s star is on the rise in the world of modeling after recently signing on as Victoria’s Secret’s newest Angel supermodels. She is consider one of Taylor’s best friends.
Discovered in her home state of North Carolina at a modelling competition, the 26-year-old has walked the runway the likes of Rag & Bone and Oscar de la Renta to Prada and Chanel.
On Instagram, she has a loyal 1.2 million followers and recently opened up about her own personal struggle with Scoliosis, a curvature of the spine.
As for being part of Taylor’s cool group of gals, she has said: “It’s great to have girlfriends who are in the industry, that you know have your back. I love being a part of [Swift’s] squad.”
5. Hailee Steinfeld – True Grit
Hailee got her big break in Hollywood in the Coen brothers’ version of True Grit, where she starred alongside Josh Brolin and Jeff Bridges, and she hasn’t looked back since. That film, when she was just 14, garnered her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress nod for her performance.
Since then, she has worked non-stop and most recently was seen in Pitch Perfect 2 and in Taylor’s “Bad Blood” clip.
“She brings natural instincts and subtle sophistication to the screen,” Taylor told Glamour of her pal. “I know there’s so much more to come from her.”
And Hailee has a mutual appreciation for Taylor, too.
Taylor’s “an amazing friend,” she said in the May 2014 issue of Nylon.
“I always get the ‘Tell us something nobody knows [about Taylor]’ question,” the actress continues. “And it’s like, we both respect each other tremendously, but we choose to keep our friendship out of the public eye. She’s a really great person and an inspiration to me and many others.”
4. Serayah – Taylor’s A Fan Of Empire
She’s been dubbed Empire‘s “It” girl thanks to her role as Tiana in the hip hop drama.
Serayah explains that it was the singer’s manager who first called her about appearing in Taylor’s now-infamous star-studded music video and by the time they got on set, she and the singer had already bonded.
“I hadn’t met her before we shot, but we were texting and talking,” she explain in a recent interview. “She wanted to have that relationship before, so it was more than just work. All the girls in the video are really humble and sweet, from pop star to rock star to super-mega actress to super-mega model.”
3. Gigi Hadid – Loves Her McDonald’s
Gigi Hadid has seemingly blown up overnight on the modeling front, but the daughter of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star and former model Yolanda Foster has been famous in the high society/socialite circles for years.
When she was a child, she was already modeling for Guess and 15 years later they came knocking on her door again and she became the face of their 2012 Fall/Winter campaign.
The 20-year-old is now the new face of Maybelline and Seafolly and has appeared on the covers of Teen Vogue and Vogue Spain.
In recent months, she has become an integral member of Taylor’s squad, joining her on stage in Detroit and flying to England for the London Festival.
“My favorite thing about Taylor is that she’s just always herself and she’s really true to that,” Gigi revealed. “It’s really inspiring to hang out with someone that is genuine and is just unapologetically Taylor. It’s cool.”
Aside from a penchant for dating pop singers (she split from Cody Simpson earlier this year and moved on to Joe Jonas, who Taylor was also rumored to date), this young beauty seems to have another love in her life – munching on McDonald’s.
2. Selena Gomez – A Role Model
This 23-year-old needs no introduction, having been in the public eye since 2007, when she was cast in the Disney Channel television series Wizards of Waverly Place.
The singer and actress seems to be constant tabloid fodder due to a previous relationship with Justin Bieber (just this week the Biebs dropped the single “Sorry” which is said to be an apology to Selena).
But for her part, Selena Gomez wants to be a role model for others – she has worked with UNICEF for several years.
“I want people to really be inspired, to believe they can do whatever they want,” she explained.
As for being part of the Swift squad, Selena gushed: “A bunch of women I look up to and admire are supporting one another, and Taylor has such a beautiful way of bringing people together. That was good for me, because the more I started working, the more uncomfortable I was. I wouldn’t trust people, and Taylor has a way of stripping down everything and just getting down to being human. I love that.”
1. Karlie Kloss – The Bestie
Karlie Kloss is without a doubt Taylor’s closest friend.
The pair can be seen front row at fashion shows, sharing their pics from road trips, and hosting dinner parties at Taylor’s New York City home. The singer even admitted that the uber model has a room at her pad, which features a basket of Karlie’s favorite Whole Foods treats next to the bed, and multiple photos of her on the walls.
So how did the two meet?
In February 2012, Taylor was quoted in US Vogue, saying: “I love Karlie Kloss… I want to bake cookies with her” right after spotting an image of Kloss on the wall of designer Prabal Gurung’s studio.
Karlie Kloss then tweeted: “Hey @taylorswift13 love the @voguemagazine cover! Your kitchen or mine? :)”
The two have been inseparable since finally meeting at the 2013 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. They are so close, in fact, that there was speculation that they were more than friends after they were spotted seemingly making out at the 1975 concert in December last year.
But Karlie is off the market and has been for some time; she has been dating Joshua Kushner since November 2012. Kushner is a tech investor who backed Instagram in the early days and is part of the Kushner real estate dynasty and brother of Jared, Ivanka Trump’s husband.
This 23-year-old beauty is also one with a brain. After four years with Victoria’s Secret, she decided to hang up her wings so she could begin studying at New York University in the fall.
In a video posted by Glamour Paris, Karlie talked about her famous BFF.
“Taylor is an incredible friend, she’s fiercely loyal and she’s an amazing chef,” she said.
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