Plano native GAYLE on opening for Taylor Swift: “The most unbelievable thing ever”

Gayle, facing the camera, holds her hands on either side of her face

GAYLE. Photo: Atlantic Records

It’s about 39 miles, give or take, from the heart of Plano to the grounds of Arlington’s AT&T Stadium.

For 18-year-old Plano native and rising pop star GAYLE, who will take the stage inside AT&T Stadium on Friday as an opening act for the first of Taylor Swift’s three sold-out nights there, it’s a journey she could hardly conceive.

Friday’s appearance before a sold-out stadium crowd will be GAYLE’s first North Texas show since an April 2022 stop in Irving, opening for AJR.

“A lot of Texas really reminds me of when I was younger … I started singing at seven,” she said recently over Zoom. “The fact that I’m opening up for [Taylor], it’s, like, such a dream come true. I didn’t even really dream that when I was a kid, because I didn’t even know I could dream that. So, to be here is the most unbelievable thing ever. Like, it’s insane.”

Such a description could as easily apply to the 18 months or so of GAYLE’s — born Taylor Gayle Rutherfurd — life and career.

Those heady months have been filled with major label releases, chart success (her multi-platinum hit single “ABCDEFU” hit number one in the UK and Ireland), awards recognition (she earned a Grammy nomination for song of the year) and streaming accomplishments (to date, the singer-songwriter has racked up more than 2.3 billion streams, and counting).

In addition to opening select dates on Swift’s “The Eras” tour up through its West Coast conclusion in August, GAYLE is also hitting the road in Europe later this year as an opener for another pop superstar: Pink, who will feature the singer as part of her “Summer Carnival” tour.

She’s also dropped a new single, “Everybody Hates Me,” which resurrects the crunchy guitars of ‘90s alt-rock. [Warning: Some readers may find the visuals and/or lyrics of the song below offensive.]

Whether it’s Taylor or Pink, opening gargantuan stadium shows is not a responsibility GAYLE takes lightly. It’s not a journey she ever anticipated, but it’s one she fully intends to enjoy.

“I’m lucky enough to where I get to play 35 stadiums this year,” she said. “Every stadium is a new experience, a new way to play. It’s the most amazing thing ever. … I’m really trying to get myself experienced as an opener and trying to maintain and capture people’s attention. … I’m really focused on creating my community, but also sharpening my tools as a performer.”

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.