5 Texas musicians who helped Taylor Swift grow her career, catalog

Taylor Swift, holding a guitar, sings to an audience

Taylor Swift performs onstage for the opening night of “The Eras Tour” at State Farm Stadium on March 17, 2023 in Glendale, Arizona.
Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management

Are you ready for it?

Omnipresent pop superstar Taylor Swift’s much-anticipated (and probably nearly equally maligned by those vexed by Ticketmaster pre-sales!) “Eras” tour descends upon AT&T Stadium this week for a staggering, sold-out three-night stand beginning Friday and concluding Sunday.

Reports from other stops on the tour, which is scheduled to wrap up its first leg in early August and is Swift’s first significant run of shows in five years, indicate the singer-songwriter is making the arduous experience of acquiring admission worth fans’ whiles: Three-hour performances, touching on just about every point of her glittering career, combined with plenty of flash and glamour. In short, Taylor gonna Taylor.

To further stoke North Texas T-Swift fans’ eagerness — if such a feat is even scientifically possible — we’ve rounded up some examples of how Swift has leaned on Lone Star talent to help build her catalog and career.

The Chicks

For one of the most emotionally raw tracks on her 2019 LP, Lover, Swift enlisted Natalie Maines, Martie Maguire and Emily Strayer — better known as the Dallas-formed country trio The Chicks — to provide gorgeous three-part harmonies. The largely acoustic song, which deals with Swift’s mother’s cancer battle, also hearkens back to Swift’s more rustic roots.

Maren Morris

The Arlington-born country star and Swift joined voices on “You All Over Me (From the Vault),” a track released in 2021 as part of her ongoing re-recording project, but originally written for Fearless, Swift’s 2008 sophomore album. Morris also made a cameo during Swift’s last trip through Arlington and AT&T Stadium in 2018, popping up to perform “The Middle.”


This collaboration is more of the standard opener-headliner variety, but Plano native GAYLE has not only been tapped to open a handful of “Eras” dates, but will also get a rare chance to perform at a stadium in her own backyard, when she opens for Swift in Arlington on Friday. (The singer-songwriter will hop off and on the tour as an opening act up through its Aug. 9 finale in Los Angeles.)

St. Vincent

Another track from 2019’s Lover, featuring another talent with Texas ties. “Cruel Summer” was co-written by and features the guitar work of one Annie Clark, better known as St. Vincent, who was raised in Dallas and, prior to her solo output, was a member of the Polyphonic Spree.

George Strait

This one requires hopping into the wayback machine, but in the earliest days of Swift’s career, she crossed paths with a titan of Texas country music: George Strait. Swift, at the age of 17, was an opening act for Strait in the first three months of 2007, and also memorably covered his single “Run,” during a 2009 Academy of Country Music tribute to Strait.

Taylor Swift at AT&T Stadium, Arlington. 6:30 p.m. March 31-April 2. Sold out.

Preston Jones is a North Texas freelance writer and regular contributor to KXT. Email him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter (@prestonjones). Our work is made possible by our generous, music-loving members. If you like how we lift up local music, consider becoming a KXT sustaining member right here.