During the 66th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, Swift surprised fans by announcing a new studio album in the middle of her acceptance speech for Best Pop Vocal Album. Just after doing a funky little handshake with producer Jack Antonoff and taking home her first Grammy of the evening for Midnights, Swift — who was nominated for six Grammys in total on Sunday — made a surprise announcement.
“Okay, this is my 13th Grammy. It’s just my lucky number, I don’t know if I’ve ever told you that,” she began. “I’m telling you a secret that I’ve been keeping from you for the last two years: My brand new album comes out April 19, it’s called The Tortured Poets Department, and I’m gonna go and post the cover backstage.”
As promised, she then posted her new album art on Instagram, captioning the image, “All’s fair in love and poetry…”
Hours before the Grammys telecast kicked off, fans noticed that the singer’s website had uncharacteristically crashed. According to USA Today, TaylorSwift.com was displaying an error message for several hours on Sunday afternoon: “Error 321 Backend fetch failed” and, in bold, “hneriergrd.” Swifties quickly unscrambled the code to get “red herring,” a misleading clue. Paired with Swift’s recent repeated snake symbolism, fans were sure they’d cracked the code and uncovered that Swift would soon be dropping a re-recorded version of 2017’s Reputation. We now know that snake imagery was the red herring Swift teased, given we’ll apparently be treated to new music instead.
Later in the night, Swift made Grammy history when she won Album of the Year for Midnights. The victory marks her fourth win in the category, making her the first artist to win the prize so many times. She previously won AOTY for “Fearless,” “1989,” and “Folklore.” Swift accepted the award — which was handed to her by none other than Celine Dion — with Antonoff and sound engineer Laura Sisk at her side. Swift also brought her collaborator Lana del Rey onstage, but she stayed in the background as Swift gave her a shoutout.
All in all, it’s a good season to be a Swiftie.
This post has been updated.