Taylor Swift might be the biggest star in the world right now, but it turns out even she has to answer to someone.
The US pop star, 33, let slip at her Eras Tour concert film premiere on Wednesday that she doesn’t do anything without her publicist Tree Paine’s blessing.
Despite sounding like what JK Rowling would call a botanist character in Harry Potter, Paine has managed to work meticulously behind the scenes of Swift’s career and helped elevate her to the position she’s in today.
Following Swift’s premiere, a video has emerged online which showed the Grammy winner giving rare insight into just how big a role her publicist plays.
While chatting on the red carpet, a photographer shouted across and asked if Swift could pose for some stand-alone pictures.
Swift smiled, pulled up her dress and shouted: “See that redhead over there? She tells me what to do!” before waiting for Paine to give the OK.
Paine, who has been the head of Swift’s team since 2014, previously became known to fans after appearing in Netflix documentary Miss Americana.
In true icon style, Paine could be seen sipping white wine on the sofa while Swift took to social media to talk politics for the first time in her career back in 2018.
A no-nonsense attitude has helped her to guide Swift through moments in her career that could have spelled the end of her legacy; her feud with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, messy breakups and her masters dispute with music manager Scooter Braun.
Paine keeps her social media presence quiet, and hasn’t tweeted since 2020 when she emerged from her Twitter slumber to clap back at Kardashian.
At the time, a video had leaked of a phone call between West and Swift where she allegedly had given the rapper approval to say “I made that b*tch famous” in his song, which the world now knows not to be true.
Kardashian first took to Twitter to essentially label Paine a liar, saying: “To be clear, the only issue I ever had around the situation was that Taylor lied through her publicist, who stated that ‘Kanye never called to ask for permission.’ They clearly spoke so I let you all see that. Nobody ever denied the word ‘bitch’ was used without her permission.”
Paine was having absolutely none of it, and she immediately took to Twitter to cut Kardashian’s claims off at the source.
“I’m Taylor’s publicist and this is my UNEDITED original statement. Btw, when you take parts out, that’s editing. P.S. Who did you guys piss off to leak that video?”
But how did Paine manage to secure arguably the best PR job in the world? Well, now 58, Paine began her career at Interscope Records in 1995 at a time when Mariah Carey was still doing whistle notes and plaid skirts were all the rage.
During her time with the firm she worked with legends such as Nine Inch Nails and No Doubt, before launching her own marketing firm.
She later became senior vice-president at Warner Music in 2007, where she met Swift who had just released Love Story and was still channelling her inner Meryl Streep by pretending to have that now-iconic country accent.
Paine and Swift grew close during her time there, and in 2014, the publicist left Warner to start her own firm, Premium PR, and Swift became her first client.
Since the release of Swift’s Grammy award-winning album Folklore in 2020, Paine has become revered among Swifties and has amassed a diehard following of her very own.
She’s regularly labelled a “girlboss”, “icon”, “legend” and “mother” by the Eras Tour star’s younger followers, many of whom accredit Swift’s rise to fame to Paine’s tireless work behind the scenes.
Obviously, it’s clear that Swift’s talent is what has gotten her to where she is today.
However, she certainly hasn’t achieved such world domination on her own.
Paine’s position as her publicist has no doubt played a major role in keeping her there, and long may her reign continue.