To the next famous guy who decides to date Taylor Swift: Be prepared to get some unwanted shoutouts well after you and the songstress have broken up.
Swift made plenty of headlines after her Grammy performance of her tune “We Are Never, Ever Getting Back Together” during which Swift stopped mid-song with the line: "So he calls me up and he's like, 'I still love you,' the 23-year-old chirped, putting on a bit of a British accent, in what many believed was an imitation of her most recent ex-boyfriend, pop star Harry Styles. “And I'm like, 'I'm sorry, I'm busy opening up the Grammys. And we're never getting back together, like, ever.'”
Her mission may not have been accomplished though, as Styles took the high road when asked about Swift and her performance on a British radio show this week.
"She's a great performer and she always performs great," he praised. "She's always good on the stage. She's been doing it a long time. She knows what she's doing on stage. It was just another good Taylor Swift performance."
He also wasn’t concerned about running into her at the Brit Awards, where they were both scheduled to perform on Wednesday night.
"I'm not worried about seeing her at all," he recently told Grazia magazine. "She's a sweet girl, you know, I don't have a bad word to say about her."
Despite Styles' good-guy vibe, it seems that Swift may have been trying to send more messages the One Direction singer’s way when she took the stage at the Brit Awards where Styles happened to be sitting in the audience. The blonde pranced around in a white poofy dress that looked a whole lot like a wedding gown before ripping it off to reveal a skimpy black-hot-pants outfit paired with laceup boots. (See the video at the bottom of this post.) Translation: I didn’t want to marry you anyway, Harry?
For his part, Harry told Us Weekly he thought Taylor's performance was "great," adding, "She always puts on a good show."
We may never know what Taylor meant by the performance choices for sure, but given Swift’s history, chances are the move was indeed another dig at an ex. In the past, most of her swipes, however, come via her song lyrics and media interviews, where she hasn’t been afraid to shame the dudes who left her behind.
There was, of course, her ballad “Dear John,” which she wrote after her breakup with ladies’ man John Mayer after their short-lived 2009 relationship. The song was released on her 2010 Speak Now album.
"Dear John, I see it all now that you're gone/Don't think I was too young to be messed with?/The girl in the dress cried the whole way home/I should've known," is the tune’s chorus. Another verse goes: "Well, maybe it's just me and my blind optimism to blame/Or maybe it's you and your sick need to give love then take it away."
The message was received loud and clear, according to Mayer himself … and not appreciated. “It made me feel terrible. Because I didn't deserve it. I'm pretty good at taking accountability now, and I never did anything to deserve that. It was a really lousy thing for her to do,” Mayer said in Rolling Stone last year.
But before that song, there was the 2008 tune “Forever and Always,” which Swift has publicly stated was about one of her first boyfriends, Joe Jonas, with whom she had a few-months relationship in 2008 before he famously broke up with her in what she later claimed on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” was a 27-second phone call.
“Was I out of line?/Did I say something way too honest/That made you run and hide like a scared little boy?/I looked into your eyes, thought I knew you for a minute/Now I'm not so sure,” the lyrics go.
"I've written about [the split with Jonas], and I like to write about my life ... that's just how I deal with things," she said on Ryan Seacrest’s radio show that year.
Though many think that her tune “The Last Time” is about ex Jake Gyllenhaal, whom she dated at the end of 2011, the most cutting words had for the actor came not through song, but through media interviews. "The idea was based on this experience I had with someone who was kind of this unreliable guy,” she told NPR last November. “You never know when he's going to leave, you never know when he's going to come back, but he always does come back.”
But it was a fellow Taylor, “Twilight” actor Taylor Lautner, Swift’s boyfriend for a few months in late 2009, who got off easy and became the first and only guy that Swift has actually apologized to via song. Apparently the two, who met on the set of “Valentine’s Day,” departed amicably and her 2010 tune “Back to December” is directed at him. "It addresses a first for me," Swift told E! News in 2010. "I've never apologized to someone in a song before ... The person I wrote this song for deserves this. This is about a person who was incredible to me – just perfect to me in a relationship – and I was really careless with him."
"So this is me swallowing my pride/ Standing in front of you saying 'I'm sorry' for that night/ And I go back to December all the time/ It turns out freedom ain't nothing/,” go the lyrics. “Missing you, wishing I'd realized what I had when you were mine/ I'd go back to December, turn around and make it all right/ I go back to December all the time."
Conor Kennedy (to be determined)
But the guy who got off the easiest? Conor Kennedy, the teen Swift was spotted all summer with before the two broke up in the fall as he was starting his senior year of high school. Maybe she’s just waiting to give him a musical graduation present …