The full history of Taylor Swift and her ‘lucky number’ 13

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For some, the number 13 is considered unlucky. But for Taylor Swift, the number 13 has been bringing her good fortune since birth.

The pop icon, born on Dec. 13, 1989, has a special connection to 13 and multiple significant moments for her and her fans have occurred on the 13th.

One of the first times Swifties noticed the singer's fondness for 13 was during the "Fearless Tour" in 2009 and 2010 when Swift doodled "13" on the back of her hand before each performance. That tour, which followed the release of her second album "Fearless," provided a glimpse of her star power and unbreakable bond with her fanbase.

Taylor Swift (Fred Duval / FilmMagic)
Taylor Swift (Fred Duval / FilmMagic)

Around that time, she spoke to MTV and explained why 13 is her favorite number by listing all the times 13 popped up in her life.

"The significance of the number 13 on my hand ... I paint this on my hand before every show because 13 is my lucky number; for a lot of reasons," she said. "It’s really weird.”

Swift continued, "I was born on the 13th. I turned 13 on Friday the 13th. My first album went gold in 13 weeks. My first No. 1 song had a 13-second intro. Every time I’ve won an award I’ve been seated in either the 13th seat, the 13th row, the 13th section or row M, which is the 13th letter."

While some might find the repeated appearance of the number spooky, she welcomes it.

"Basically whenever a 13 comes up in my life, it’s a good thing," she concluded.

And that hasn’t changed throughout her career.

On subsequent albums after her "Fearless" era, the “Cruel Summer” singer started weaving her love of the number 13 into her music in playful and intricate ways, which has become her signature style.

She briefly touched on the importance of numerology in her songwriting when chatting with Paul McCartney for Rolling Stone’s “Musicians on Musicians” series in 2020.

"Numbers kind of rule my world,” she told McCartney. "The numbers 13 … 89 is a big one." (She released her Grammy-winning "1989" album in 2014).

For instance, her song “The Lucky One” is the 13th track on her 2021 album, “Red (Taylor’s Version),” and the tune also has a 13-second intro. If you count, you'll notice that the word “lucky” is sung exactly 13 times in the track.

Even the number switched around holds a special place in her heart. That’s why Swift released her albums “Folklore” and “Evermore” the same year she turned 31. She also made sure that one album had 16 songs, while the other had 15 to equal 31 tracks in total, which is 13 backward.

“Ever since I was 13, I’ve been excited about turning 31 because it’s my lucky number backwards, which is why I wanted to surprise you with this now,” the singer wrote on X in December 2020.

In her social media post, she also thanked Swifties for their support and wanted to reciprocate on her birthday with “Evermore.”

“You’ve all been so caring, supportive and thoughtful on my birthdays and so this time I thought I would give you something!” she added.

During an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” that same year, Swift, again, discussed her obsession with turning 31.

“Until I turn 113 or 131, this will be the highlight of my life,” she joked. “The numerology thing, when it doesn’t take over on its own, I sort of force it to happen.”

Three years later, she gifted her fans with a present on her birthday for a second time.

Three years later, she gifted her fans with a present on her birthday for a second time: her concert film, “Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour (Extended Version)” started streaming on Dec. 13, 2023.

“Hi! Well, so, basically I have a birthday coming up and I was thinking a fun way to celebrate the year we’ve had together would be to make The Eras Tour Concert Film available for you to watch at home!” she wrote on Instagram ahead of its release. (The film was later added to Disney+ on March 14.)

So far this year, her lucky streak with 13 surges on. At the 2024 Grammys on Feb. 4, Swift collected the golden gramophone for best pop vocal album for “Midnights,” which happened to be her 13th Grammy. Of course the superstar was already aware that the win matched her favorite number, so she decided to make a special announcement during her acceptance speech.

“This is my 13th Grammy, which is my lucky number. I don’t know if I’ve ever told you that,” she joked as the audience applauded.

She thanked the Recording Academy and her fans for the honor and said she wanted to express her gratitude by sharing a secret she has been keeping for “two years.”

“My brand-new album comes out April 19. It’s called ‘The Tortured Poets Department,’” she said as members of the crowd audibly gasped.

Swift said she was headed backstage to share the album cover before hurrying off.

Her connection to 13 isn't just music related. In September 2023, Swift attended her first Kansas City Chiefs game to cheer on her boyfriend, Travis Kelce. She continued to support him, making appearances with her celeb friends at different stadiums. By the time the Super Bowl arrived on Feb. 11, the game marked the 13th time she cheered for the tight end and his team — and they won.

Taylor Swift (Ed Zurga / AP)
Taylor Swift (Ed Zurga / AP)

Swifties immediately noticed how the number 13 strangely linked the "Love Story" singer to the Super Bowl and pointed out other numerical ties on social media

“Super Bowl 58 will be Taylor Swifts 13th game to attend. She will have to take a 13 hour flight from Japan. Super Bowl 58 5 + 8 = 13!!! (Chiefs) will win it all!!!!” one fan wrote on X. (Their prediction ended up being correct.)

Another tweeted, “Super bowl 58.. 5+8=13. 49ers... 9+4=13. Taylor swift.. 13. < her profile and birthday. 2-11. < superbowl date. =13. Looks like the 13th zodiac is climbing to the top. You guys are NOT ready for what’s next."

Somehow, 13 connected her to the other team, as well. Although it seems 13 was unlucky for the San Francisco 49ers that day.

“Taylor Swift’s ‘lucky number’ is 13. Super Bowl 58 (5+8) = 13. SB on 2/11 (2+11) = 13. Taylor Swift could be attending her 13th Chiefs game this season. 49ers (4+9) = 13. 49ers QB is #13. COULDN’T SCRIPT IT ANY BETTER,” one fan wrote on X, referring to 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy who wears jersey No. 13.

The next Swift moment that will be tied to the number 13: the release of the 13th track on "The Tortured Poets Department." She previously announced on Instagram that the song will be called "I Can Do It With A Broken Heart." It will arrive along with the rest of the LP on April 19.

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