Taylor Swift has always wanted to cover Selena Gomez’s album cover.
The singer, whose songs include “Blank Space” and “Style” and has been a vocal advocate for women in music, decided to give the pop star her own album cover in the summer of 2012, even though it was going to be the first time she had ever done so.
Swift made a point of keeping her cover secret, with the songwriting team saying she felt like it would give her “more of an authentic connection” with Gomez.
“The album cover is my signature,” Swift told Rolling Stone in 2017.
“It’s so important to me that my art is a reflection of who I am.”
So the singer decided to use the image of the late pop icon on the cover of her forthcoming album, Selena.
“Selena is so important because of how much she meant to me growing up and how much I want her to represent me as I move forward,” Swift said.
“I wanted to capture that, in a way, and this album cover captures that.”
“Selenas’ album was a reflection on everything we wanted to do as artists, and the song has a lot of messages,” Gomez told Rolling Stones.
“We wanted to have a song that reflected everything that Selena meant to us, and it reflected our relationship.”
The album was released in August, and on Thursday, Swift revealed that she had created a cover for her album.
“This is a Selena album, and I wanted to make sure it felt real to me,” Swift wrote on Instagram.
“She had so much passion and energy, but also a lot sadness, and she’s on a lot.
I wanted her to feel her love, and as the song says, ‘you’re so much like me,’ so I wanted this cover to capture this.”
She went on to say that the cover is inspired by “the time when we were younger and she was still a teenager and the only time we ever saw her was in her video for her ‘Tears’ album.”
Swift’s image for the cover, which has been shared more than 12 million times on social media, is similar to that of a portrait of Gomez taken in 1999.
“And then, there’s this little black girl who’s in my life and she said, ‘I’ve seen you on Selena,’ and I realized how beautiful and special and powerful Selena is,” Swift added.
“But she’s still black, and there’s a lot that I want to capture about that black girl in me.”
She also wrote, “I’m a black woman, and Selena’s still my favorite.”