Selena Gomez recently made headlines after revealing in her Netflix documentary that Taylor Swift is her "only friend in the industry." We're investigating just how far back the pair really go...
It all began back in the day when the up-and-coming female pop stars found themselves dating brothers. No, not just any old brothers; we're talking about the one and only Jonas Brothers.
In August 2008, Selena was dating Nick, while Taylor was romantically linked to Joe. Going for a double-date dinner, the two struck up a friendship that would last long well beyond their respective romantic relationships. "We just clicked," Selena told KISS FM UK in 2017. "It was the best thing we got out of those relationships."
Red Carpet Debut
Just one month later, the pop singers made their friendship red carpet official when Taylor attended the premiere of Selena's movie Another Cinderella Story. Starring alongside Drew Seeley, it was the Disney Channel star's first feature movie. From this point on, the pair would always be there for each other's life milestones.
Standing by her side for the photographs, Taylor had her hand on her good friend's back. No stranger to the cameras herself, she coached Selena through the likely overwhelming moment in the spotlight. This, of course, was the first of many joint red carpets to come.
By October 2009, the two were officially BFFs. And what represents a blossoming friendship more than talking about boys? In an interview with Seventeen magazine, Selena admitted that Taylor is her go-to friend for all romantic guidance. "Every single problem I ever have is healable by Taylor Swift!" she told the publication.
"If I ever have an issue, Taylor has gone through it, because she's older than me, and she gives the most thought-out answers. And what I love about Taylor is that she does believe in the whole love story and Prince Charming and soul mates. Because of her, I haven't lost faith. We literally talk every day."
People's Choice Awards
We promised many more joint red-carpet appearances, and we're here to deliver on that promise. This time it's the January 2011 People's Choice Awards, where Taylor and Selena both triumphed in style. First storming the red carpet with their elegant dresses and poses, they then continued their wins at the awards ceremony.
Gomez was announced as the Favorite Breakout Artist, while Swift picked up the trophy for Favorite Country Artist. As they smiled together in the post-ceremony photoshoot, they were as happy for each other as they were for themselves. Again, this is something that would continue for many award ceremonies to come.
Vanity Fair Oscar Party
Cut to February 2011, and the young stars were two of the biggest names in music. This was evident by their invites to the Vanity Fair Oscar Party, where they partied the night away with some of the world's most famous celebrities. Of course, like always, they chose to attend together, holding each other for support.
On this occasion, Selena graced the red carpet with someone else - her new boyfriend, Justin Bieber. Hearts broke all over the world when it appeared the Baby singer was off the market. As the couple posed for photos and cuddled up close, 'Jelena' had officially been born.
Proud Third Wheel
By November 2011, the young women had rocked many red carpets together. So for the American Music Awards, they decided to take it a step further and sit together during the ceremony. After Selena and Justin graced the AMA red carpet hand in hand, she cuddled up with Bieber while Swift happily third-wheeled in the next seat.
Of course, the most noteworthy part of the night was the snaps they would come to look back on with dread. In addition to the Bieber photos, this included a chat between Taylor, Selena, and Katy Perry, and even an appearance by Scooter Braun (all soon to be explained.)
In August 2011, Taylor Swift traveled the world for her Speak Now tour. Fans who attended the Madison Square Garden date couldn't believe their luck when their favorite singer invited her BFF Selena to perform on stage with her. The two sang a duet of Selena's song Who Says - and the crowd went wild.
But that wasn't it. Taylor had another surprise up her sleeve for the audience. Being her best friend's boyfriend, she was easily able to recruit Justin Bieber to join her on stage for a performance of Baby. This generous gesture suggested Justin had the best friend stamp of approval.
He Said, She Said
In November 2012, two years after the couple started dating, the world mourned the news of #Jelena. Of course, the most loyal fans now know this was the first of many splits to come - but at the time, it seemed like the beginning of the end. Multiple rumors about the cause of the split spread throughout the tabloids.
In April 2013, Selena released her new single, Come & Get It, which caused a stir for its supposed Bieber references. In response, Justin posted and deleted pictures of Selena in a toxic Instagram spree. Very familiar with what it's like to break up with someone in the industry, Swift was there for her throughout the heartbreak.
In May 2013, Taylor watched proudly as her best friend performed Come and Get it, live at the Billboard Music Awards. Although she was incredibly supportive of her best friend's career, it seemed she was no longer supportive of Selena's on-off relationship with Justin.
In a video that surfaced from backstage, fans could see the couple talking while Taylor watched, clinging onto Selena's hand the entire time. As she walked away, she was then seen sticking out her tongue, seemingly disapproving of the pair's continued contact.
Through the years, Selena and Taylor would use their birthdays to publicly mark the milestones of their blossoming friendship. One of the first times they acknowledged their tight bond on social media was on July 22, 2013, when Selena turned 21.
Uploading a picture of the BFFs posing alongside a mermaid statue, Taylor dedicated the post to her friend. "Happy 21st birthday to my friend, and the closest thing I've ever had to a sister, @selenagomez!!" Yeah, we'll be honest; we're a little jealous.
2x the Wins
By August 2013, the "sisters" were looking to shake things up for the next awards ceremony. In addition to continuing their tradition of sitting together, they opted for a matching color scheme - both dressing in long navy gowns. Whispering and laughing between them, all eyes were on the starlets.
Once again, both women came out as winners, taking home trophies for their respective hit songs. Taylor won Best Female Video for I Knew You Were Trouble, while Selena won Best Pop Video for Come and Get It. Photos from backstage showed Taylor hugging Selena tight after her win.
Under the Microscope
In an interview with E!, Taylor addressed the magic behind her and Selena's friendship. "It's been the longest one I think either of us had really," she reflected. "When your life changes, and you become thrust into this really strange whirlwind where what your life is is different from what other people think your life is."
"And your life is commented on, and your life is written about and fictionalized and all that," she continued. "Both of us have kind of stuck it out and hung in there through all the different changes we've gone through. Longevity is something you really can find very precious and rare in friendships."
No More Secrets
In May 2014, Selena realized she had made it big when she was invited by Anna Wintour to attend the annual Met Gala in New York. With Taylor having been four times prior, Selena knew she could rely on her friend to coach her through one of Hollywood's most daunting red carpets.
Within moments of arriving, it seemed the best mates were relaxed and having fun, evident from the Instagram video uploaded after the event. "Sometimes you wanna just be you with someone who knows all your secrets," she captioned the clip of the girls dancing through the hall of the Met.
On October 27, 2014, Taylor dropped her iconic 1989 album. Her first official pop release, she unnecessarily feared it wouldn't perform as well as her previous albums. Luckily, her best friend was there to support her through it all, posting to her Instagram how proud she was of the incredible album.
"From hotel room album listening parties, kitchen dance floor album listening parties to driving on the [porch], windows down album listening parties. The best part is we were the only ones there. Each time," she wrote. "So happy, honored, and proud to know you and your diaries. @taylorswift #1989 BUY IT!!! "
A Night To Remember
The American Music Awards 2014 were a big night for both halves of Taylena. Selena was visibly emotional as she watched Taylor be the first-ever recipient of the Dick Clark Award for Excellence. After the incredible success of 1989, this prize was seemingly more than deserved.
Minutes later, it was Taylor's turn to tear up as she observed her best friend sing The Heart Wants What It Wants live on stage. Being the ballad that Selena wrote about her difficult breakup with Justin, there was understandably not a dry eye in the house.
Meet the Squad
By early 2015, it had become commonly accepted that an event was not of note unless it included a joint appearance by Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift. For this reason, the Golden Globes afterparty was honored to have the women on their guest list.
Although still the ultimate duo, they had allowed a few worthy women to enter their inner circle. One such woman was Lorde, who posed for photos with the pair at the event. Cementing the importance of these female friendships, Selena had an idea to make it all official...
Don't be scared by the title of this chapter! There was no bad blood between the girls; it's merely the title of Taylor's music video that Selena starred in. Featuring Zendaya, Gigi Hadid, Cara Delevingne, and many other iconic famous women, the video was the ultimate symbol of female empowerment.
A few months later, Taylena celebrated with all the other Bad Blood soldiers as they stood together on stage to accept the VMA Video Of The Year. "She WON! So proud of all the ladies!" Selena later wrote on Instagram. "That's what it's truly about!"
"What IS Life"
Taking the world by storm with her 1989 tour, Taylor set records with an incredible number of surprise guests on stage. From Matt Leblanc to Chris Rock, there was no guessing who would appear next. One visitor that came as less of a surprise was Selena Gomez, who sang her song Good For You for the first time.
"After nearly eight years of friendship, I just can't wait to tell our kids we ACTUALLY got to perform in front of thousands of insanely beautiful people together. TWICE!" Selena gushed on Instagram afterward. "I love you Tay. #bestnightEVER #whatISlife."
Taylor vs. Kanye
The Grammy's in February 2016 was the ultimate 'pinch-me' moment for both women. Gomez cheered loudly as 1989 won Album of the Year for a second time, making Swift the first woman to do so. In her acceptance speech, Taylor infamously called out Kanye West for talking about her in Famous.
"To all the young women out there," she declared. "There are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame." This move would ultimately lead to Swift's 'cancellation,' which Gomez stood by her side throughout.
Kim Enters the Chat…
Tired of the negative press about her husband, Kim Kardashian soon posted a Snapchat to show his side of the story. In the clip, Taylor could be heard on a phone call with West, seemingly approving the use of her name in his song. As the world targeted Taylor over the revelation, Selena rushed to her bestie's defense.
"There are more important things to talk about... Why can't people use their voice for something that f***** matters?" she tweeted. "Truth is, last thing we need right now is hate, in any form," a second tweet read. "This industry is so disappointing yet the most influential smh."
Keeping It on the DL
During Taylor's 'canceled' years, the pair remained quiet - in the public eye, at least. Although their joint outings were limited, Selena was not willing to let her best friend's 28th birthday go unacknowledged. As always, she took to the 'gram to mark the occasion.
"I'm glad you were born," Selena captioned a video of them. "You write all the thoughts some aren't able to articulate. Thank you for giving a voice to this world that is authentic and inspiring. I wish some knew how big your heart actually is... it's fierce, bold and freaking wild with light. Love you @taylorswift."
Taylor's Reputation tour marked her big return to the public eye after years away from the spotlight. For a monumental moment like this, there was no better person than Selena to join her on stage for a duet. As much as we'd like to say this one was a surprise, their track record suggested this was an inevitable move.
Following the performance, Selena took to Instagram to congratulate her superstar friend. "To the person I could call at any time of day, who has been there no matter what... you absolutely KILLED IT tonight, and everyone was so excited to see you. I love you, and 60,000 people at the Rose Bowl loved you too."
Gomez or Go Home
July 2018 marked yet another birthday for the best friends - Selena's 26th. Unfortunately, they were unable to celebrate together as the two were on either side of the country, both performing their respective tours. That being said, Taylor decided to have a party of her own, designing a cake in her best friend's honor.
On a pink circle cake, the singer had written "Gomez or Go Home" with frosting, with the number 26 drawn in a heart. "Will I let distance stop me from celebrating my best friend's bday?" she captioned the photo. "I MEAN I COULD BUT WHY WOULD I WANT 2," she joked in an apparent reference to Gomez's hit song.
Taylor is famously secretive about her new music, often discussing her paranoia about it being leaked. That being said, there is one person she trusts with her art, and that is Selena Gomez. "She played me Fearless before it came out," Gomez confessed in a radio interview.
And Selena also plays her new music first for Taylor. "When I got the videos [for Lose You to Love Me and Look at Her Now], I got to... show her and her parents," she told Kiss FM. "We all got on the couch, and all the lights were turned down, and just seeing... her mom, and seeing Taylor react that way was one of the sweetest moments."
A Shoulder To Cry On
By 2019, Selena had made no secret of her mental health struggles, which had come as a secondary impact of her kidney transplant. After experiencing panic attacks, she checked into rehab for anxiety and depression. At the time, E! quoted a source saying that Selena "really leans on Taylor and considers her one of her best friends."
"Selena and Taylor have been in touch since Selena left her treatment and are very close," the source explained. "Taylor has reached out several times and has shown her support and love." They noted that the friends were in a "really good place" and were in close contact despite their physical distance.
In November 2019, Selena was forced to defend her friend yet again when Taylor's masters were sold to Scooter Braun without her knowledge. In a lengthy Instagram post, she expressed her anger over the attack on "one of our best songwriters of our time."
"My heart is so heavy right now. It makes me sick and extremely angry. (I don't mind if there may be retaliation) this is my opinion. It's greed, manipulation, and power. There is no heart or thought of anyone else. No respect for the words my friend has written since she was a 14-year-old in her bedroom."
Behind Closed Doors
In honor of Selena gracing the cover of WSJ. Magazine in January 2020, she invited her best friend to join her for the accompanying interview. "There has always been this quality of sisterhood, and I don't say that in a basic way," Taylor explained in reference to their friendship.
"She has showed up for me in ways that I would have never expected," Selena agreed. "Flown in because I was hurt and was going through something. Stuff that was going on with my family. It's been proven year after year and in every moment of my life that she is one of my best friends in the world."
As the two have gone on to explore their various business ventures, they have made sure to support each other along the way, collaborating whenever possible. Taylor appeared on an episode of Selena+ Chef, in August 2020, FaceTiming in to praise her friend's newfound cooking skills.
On the flip side, Selena made sure to join Taylor backstage when she was set to perform the 10-minute version of All Too Well on Saturday Night Live. There to calm her nerves backstage, the friends recorded a hilarious TikTok together, which unsurprisingly went viral.
"Only Friend in the Industry"
As part of the promotion for her new Netflix documentary, My Mind and Me, Selena recently sat down with Rolling Stone to discuss her career and life. "I never fit in with a cool group of girls that were celebrities. My only friend in the industry really is Taylor [Swift]," she said.
This seemingly innocent quote soon made headlines as Gomez's seemingly close friend and kidney donor, Francia Raisa, clapped back at the comment. "Interesting," she commented on the article quote. A famous actress herself, it appeared she was upset to have been left out of this narrative.
Just Getting Started
Regardless of their schedules or location, Selena and Taylor make it their priority to cheer each other on, even if just virtually. "So proud of you. Love you forever," Taylor wrote on Instagram alongside the trailer for Selena's documentary. "That she is," Selena later wrote under a screenshot of Taylor's song Mastermind.
In a world where successful women are so often pitted against each other in the headlines, we love to see Selena and Taylor's mutual respect and support. Getting each other through the ups and downs of life, it's a true "Love Story." We can't wait to see what the duo does next...