"I’ve been a Taylor Swift fan for as long as I can remember. But it wasn’t until I met and got to know her that I understood how wonderful a person she truly is," Shawn Mendes wrote
Shawn Mendes paid tribute to his friend (and one-time tour mate) Taylor Swift in the latest issue of TIME. The news magazine honored the 29-year-old Grammy-winner on their annual 100 Most Influential People list.
“I’ve been a Taylor Swift fan for as long as I can remember,” Mendes, 20, began his brief essay praising Swift. “But it wasn’t until I met and got to know her that I understood how wonderful a person she truly is.”
The pair first became close in 2015 when Swift tapped the up-and-coming YouTube phenomenon to perform as an opening act on North American dates for her 1989 tour.
“I quickly learned that the magic of Taylor Swift doesn’t come from the lights, dancers or fireworks (although all of that is incredible) but from the electrifying connection that she has with the people who are there to see her,” he continued in the piece.
“There’s an overwhelming feeling in the air. The feeling of your heart racing in your chest with excitement — so much so that by the time you get to ‘Love Story,’ all you want to do is pick up your phone and text every person you know to say how much you love them. The feeling is so thick, you feel like you could reach out and grab it to keep forever.”
Mendes went on to credit Swift’s ability to make “creating music for millions of people look easy” to her “belief in magic and love, and her ability to be as honest and raw as possible.”
To conclude, the “Stitches” singer added, “Taylor makes anyone older feel young again and anyone young feel they can do anything. It’s so rare and so special. If there is one thing I want to achieve in my career and life, it’s that.”
In addition to Swift, TIME chose five other notables to grace their covers: Dwayne Johnson, Sandra Oh, Gayle King, Mohamed Salah and Nancy Pelosi.
RELATED VIDEO: Taylor Swift Explains Her Latest Album Is All About ‘Finding Love Throughout All the Noise’
Swift sent her beloved Swifties into a tizzy last Friday by teasing a mysterious date — April 26 — on her social media accounts and a countdown clock on her website ticking down to the day. Since then, she’s shared a number of other pastel-hued images to her accounts, stoking speculation that new music is on the way.