Taylor Swift receives her Honorary Doctorate and delivers an inspiring commencement speech

music news 19/05/2022

Taylor Swift gave the commencement address at New York University’s graduation and picked up an honorary Doctorate of the Arts for her contribution the music industry on Wednesday (18.05.22).

Taylor Swift "wore a cap and gown for the first time" during her commencement address at New York University’s graduation ceremony.

The 32-year-old singer-songwriter marked the occasion on her Instagram, writing: “Wearing a cap and gown for the very first time - see you soon NYU [big eye emoji, heart face emoji and Lady Liberty emoji],” in the caption of a video showing her getting ready in her purple cap and gown and getting her picture taken by her father, Scott Swift.

The ‘All Too Well’ hitmaker was also given a honorary doctorate of fine arts at the ceremony - joining the likes of Aretha Franklin and Billy Crystal - as she addressed the 2020, 2021, and 2022 graduating classes at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday (18.05.22), the first in-person event of its kind at the university since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic (18.05.22).

While speaking to the crowd, Taylor joked her cap and gown was “much more comfortable” than the looks she usually wore when performing to similar sized audiences on similar stages.

She said: “Last time I was in a stadium this size, I was dancing in high heels and wearing a glittery leotard. This outfit is much more comfortable.”

The Grammy winner also quipped that she was only there because one of her 2012 hit single ‘22’, which matched the current calendar year.

Taylor said: “I’m 90 per cent sure the reason I’m here is because I have a song called ‘22’.”

The ‘I Bet You Think About Me’ singer urged the graduating class that they should “learn to live alongside cringe” as it is an “unavoidable” part of life, citing her fashion choices from a decade ago.

You will look back on your life and cringe retrospectively. Cringe is unavoidable over the course of a lifetime... You can’t avoid it so don’t try to – for the entirety of 2012 I dressed like a 1950s housewife.

The ‘Love Story’ hitmaker also spoke about the challenges of being a young woman in the music industry, such as “constantly being issued warnings” and how she felt that needed to be the “perfect young female role model” or else she would end up in “pop star jail”.

Taylor also mentioned getting “cancelled” - when Kanye West and his then-wife Kim Kardashian alleged that she was a lying about consenting to lyrics on his 2016 track ‘Famous’ - and how it gave her “excellent knowledge” of her wine rack.

She said: “Getting cancelled on the internet and almost losing my career gave me an excellent knowledge of all the types of wine.”

Bang Showbiz