Charlie Puth Says He Was in “Complete Denial” Over Taylor Swift’s Lyric Shout-Out

Charlie Puth is reflecting on what it was like having Taylor Swift name drop him in a song lyric.

On her song “The Tortured Poets Department” from her recently released album of the same name, Swift sings, “We declared Charlie Puth should be a bigger artist.” Though Puth has vaguely reacted to the mention on social media, he spoke more in depth about the lyric in an interview with Rolling Stone published Friday.

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He recalled that he was first told of Swift mentioning him by a friend who had heard a leak of the song, but he didn’t believe it.

“My brain immediately went to ‘Oh, like in an interview or something. That’s cool. I love Taylor Swift,'” he recounted. But then he thought the mention of his name was AI-generated. “I’m going to wake up tomorrow and it was just a big joke that someone was playing on me because someone thinks I shouldn’t be a bigger artist, so get the biggest artist since the Beatles to say that I should be a bigger artist. Ha ha ha,” he said he thought.

Then when he gave the song a listen after the album was officially released, Puth said he was in shock: “My first thought was like, ‘Wow. She said my name.’ She kind of said it like P-O-O-T-H and I just cried, dude.”

He added, “It was surreal because it’s never good to look back, but I feel like I could have done things a little differently in the past, but it’s all meant to happen now.”

Puth also confirmed that he was unaware that the singer would mention his name in her song.

“No idea. I was in complete denial, too, because there was no way this could be a thing. It’s so random. But then again, I’m listening to the song and I’m like, ‘It’s not random. It’s probably about a real conversation she had with somebody.’ And I thought to myself, ‘Why don’t I get hyper specific in my lyrics ever? Because I’m so concerned about a song being a hit? No.’ I feel like I owe it to myself to make a song where people really know the true backstory of something.”

Despite being surprised by the lyric mention, Puth has yet to directly speak to Swift. Though he revealed that he wrote her a note. “I was just like, ‘This means more, and I will take this newfound courage to put this new body of work out.’ Again, I was working on it already, but I was just unsure and it’s cool to get a stamp of approval from an artist that you have idolized for such a long time and still do.”

Puth recently released a new song called “Hero” which he credited Swift for giving him the courage to release.

“I’m just very thankful. I’m a broken record, but I’m very thankful for her shout-out because I really don’t know if I would’ve had the courage to put a song like this out. And all I needed was just that little ‘You’re good, put it out’ reminder. And I’m very excited for people to hear this kind of new side of me,” he said.

As to whether he thinks he should be a “bigger artist” as the lyric suggests, Puth said he agrees: “I think I should be. But to me, a bigger artist, I get to inspire more of my fans and people around the world to pick up an instrument. I’d love to be a bigger artist to inspire other people to be bigger artists.”

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