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Sorry, Swifties: Taylor doesn’t sing with Eagles

By Dan DeLuca, The Philadelphia Inquirer
Published: November 23, 2023, 6:00am

PHILADELPHIA — Is Taylor Swift on the Philadelphia Eagles’ new Christmas album?

Yes, she is — there’s an artist rendering of her on the back cover of the double vinyl LP, which comes out Dec. 1 on Vera Y records.

But sorry, Swifties: The pop superstar — who is dating Travis Kelce, the Kansas City Chiefs tight end who is actually on the album, duetting on “Fairytale of Philadelphia” with his brother Jason — does not sing on “A Philly Special Christmas Special.”

Rumors that she might be began this week as a result of sleuthing by fans of the Wyomissing-raised singer, who’s scheduled to perform three nights in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil this weekend. (She’ll have to hurry back to Kansas City if she wants to see the Eagles and Chiefs play Monday night.)

Swift is depicted by “Philly Special” cover artist Hannah Westerman in a Peanuts-style cartoon cheering on Jason Kelce and his singing offensive linemen compadres Jordan Mailata and Lane Johnson.

On Wednesday, the back cover was posted on Instagram, asking “Philly Special” followers, “Can You Name All The Hidden Gems?” in Westerman’s drawing of the members of the audience. Swifties quickly and correctly guessed that the singer sits three rows deep at center, with bangs and an earring.

She’s not there because she made a musical contribution to the album, which benefits Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Children’s Crisis Treatment Center. Swift is drawn along with many others with connections to Philadelphia, the Eagles and the “Philly Special” project, executive producer Connor Barwin said via text on Thursday night.

Among the others in the illustrated cheering section: Mariah Carey, whose “All I Want for Christmas is You” is covered on the album; President Joe Biden and Eagles fan first lady Jill Biden; Eagles coach Nick Sirianni; “Silver Linings Playbook” stars Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence; and the parents of the Kelce brothers. And, of course, there is Rocky with his iconic boxing gloves.

Swift — who producer Charlie Hall said in September is on his wish list to be included on a future “Philly Special” record — said she was an Eagles fan when she played Lincoln Financial Field in May. She solved a mystery in her song “Gold Rush” involving an Eagles T-shirt that stirred a debate as to whether the lyrics are about the band the Eagles or Philly’s very own Birds.

Barwin said the cover was planned well before Swift and Travis Kelce met or the relationship became the subject of global fascination.

“It had absolutely nothing to do with Travis,” he said. “But it’s fun now.”

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