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Fact Check: Fans Believe Taylor Swift Sang Background Vocals on Beyoncé's 'Cowboy Carter.' Here's What We Found

A white woman wearing a silver dress stands in front of a silver backdrop that said RENAISSANCE.
Gareth Cattermole/WireImage for Parkwood

Claim:

Taylor Swift was a background singer for the Beyoncé song "Bodyguard" on her 2024 album "Cowboy Carter."

Rating:

Rating: False
Rating: False

On March 29, 2024, Beyoncé released her album "Cowboy Carter," which featured contributions from singers including Dolly Parton, Linda Martell, Willie Nelson, Miley Cyrus and more. Many fans speculated that singer Taylor Swift sang background vocals on one song in the album, and that her distinctive voice could be heard in key sections.

The section in question can be heard on this TikTok:

A number of posts on X claimed Swift was credited as providing backing vocals on the track, "Bodyguard."


(Screenshot via X)


(Screenshot via X)

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We found no evidence that Swift is in the background vocals of the track, as she is not mentioned in the official list of collaborators or in the official track credits — though the full list of credits was unavailable at the time of this writing. As such, we rate this claim as "Unproven."

The song "Bodyguard" can be heard here:

The above screenshot appears to have been taken from Genius, which describes itself as a "music encyclopedia" with millions of contributors. It is not an official source for information about the album. The page for "Bodyguard" on Genius had no mention of Swift as of this writing, crediting only Beyoncé and Ryan Beatty as the songwriters and Columbia Records as the distributor.

The page's edit history shows that one user added the Swift credit on March 29, 2024, and another user quickly deleted it.

 
(Screenshot via Genius)

We also looked at the credits for "Bodyguard" on the official Spotify tracklist and it stated only, "Performed by Beyoncé," without any reference to the background vocalists. However, complete credits were not available on Beyoncé's official website or Spotify at the time of this writing. We will update this story once the credits are made available.


(Screenshot via Spotify)

A press release from Beyoncé's team said:

Beyoncé ensconced herself with a stellar group of collaborators, including The-Dream, Pharrell, NO I.D., Raphael Saadiq, Ryan Tedder, Ryan Beatty, Swizz Beatz, Khirye Tyler, Derek Dixie, Ink, Nova Wav, Mamii, Cam, Tyler Johnson, Dave Hamelin, and Shawn "JAY-Z" Carter to find the secret gems in each song. The process, sometimes years in the making, often meant combining pieces of different recordings, changing the instrumentation here, adding a snare there, to land at the perfect spot in the right time. …

And the musical alliance here includes contributions from an impressive list of artists as vocalists, musicians, and orators, including Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Linda Martell, Stevie Wonder, Chuck Berry, Mylie Cyrus, Post Malone, Jon Batiste, Rhiannon Giddens, Nile Rodgers, Robert Randolph, Gary Clark, Jr., Willie Jones, Brittney Spencer, Shaboozey, Reyna Roberts, Tanner Adell and Tiera Kennedy.

There was no mention of Swift in the list.

Jaon Lipshultz, executive director of music at Billboard, the international music and entertainment magazine that publishes charts tracking the most popular music, posted "Nope" in response to a question about whether Swift was on the track.

Billboard reported that despite the vocals sounding remarkably like Swift, "No, Swift's voice is not included in 'Bodyguard'" without specifying its source for this information. Entertainment news outlet E! News also published the following without referencing how it obtained the information: "E! News has learned that the 'Karma' singer is actually not featured on the project's eighth track."

We should note that Swift has participated secretly on other tracks using a pseudonym. In 2016, she wrote the song "This Is What You Came For" for her then-boyfriend, Calvin Harris, under the name Nils Sjoburg. Harris later admitted that Swift sang on a "little bit" of the track too. Swift's representatives confirmed this news months after the track's release.

While official sources including Beyonce's own website, Spotify and press releases do not mention Swift, the official list of credits is still unavailable. We will update this story as soon as the full list is made available.

Sources:

"7 Takeaways From Beyoncé's New Album Cowboy Carter." Pitchfork, 29 Mar. 2024, https://pitchfork.com/thepitch/takeaways-from-beyonce-new-album-cowboy-carter/. Accessed 29 March 2024.

"Beyoncé – BODYGUARD." genius.com, https://genius.com/Beyonce-bodyguard-lyrics. Accessed 29 March 2024.

"Beyoncé Shares Full Credits for New Album Cowboy Carter." Pitchfork, 5 Apr. 2024, https://pitchfork.com/news/beyonce-shares-full-credits-for-new-album-cowboy-carter/. Accessed 8 April 2024.

COWBOY CARTER. 29 March 2024. open.spotify.com, https://open.spotify.com/album/6BzxX6zkDsYKFJ04ziU5xQ. Accessed 29 March 2024.

Dailey, Hannah. "Fans Think Taylor Swift Is on Beyoncé's New Album 'Cowboy Carter' — But Is She Really?" Billboard, 29 Mar. 2024, https://www.billboard.com/music/music-news/is-taylor-swift-on-beyonce-cowboy-carter-bodyguard-1235644663/. Accessed 29 March 2024.

"Is Taylor Swift Featured on Beyoncé's New Album? Here's the Truth." E! Online, 29 Mar. 2024, https://www.eonline.com/news/1398453/is-taylor-swift-featured-on-beyonces-new-album-heres-the-truth. Accessed 29 March 2024.

"Taylor Swift Wrote Calvin Harris and Rihanna's 'This Is What You Came For' under a Pseudonym." EW.Com, https://ew.com/article/2016/07/13/taylor-swift-wrote-calvin-harris-single/. Accessed 29 March 2024.

Updates:

April 8, 2024: The rating of this story was updated from "Unproven" to "False" after Beyoncé released the full list of credits for the album, which did not include Taylor Swift's name.