Longtime alternative music fans are firmly in Florence Welch’s camp, and they are in for a treat as Taylor Swift recruited the musician for a track on her forthcoming The Tortured Poets Department album. While the alt-rock scene has jammed to Florence for years, Swifties may not know that much about the English-American singer and songwriter.

Who Is Florence Welch?

Florence is a successful British-American musician and is best known as the lead singer and primary songwriter for Florence and the Machine. The band debuted in 2009 with their studio album Lungs, which quickly became a chart-topping sensation. Florence has continued to impress album after album, with her signature angelic vocals filling her track lists and eventual concert venues.

In addition to her work as a musician, Florence has dabbled as a writer and released a book in 2018 called Useless Magic, a collection of poems and lyrics accompanied with illustrations.

Florence has regularly been praised throughout her career for her intricate lyricism, with Billboard reviewing the songs off of album Ceremonial one track at a time. “‘I’d do anything to make you stay / Tell me what you want me to say,’ she pleads atop the album’s most pulsating tribal drumbeat,” the storied music outlet detailed in 2011 of her song “No Light, No Light.” “Musically, the song exudes utter strength; lyrically, Welch is on her knees.”

Florence Welch
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for MRC

It comes as no surprise to Swifties, then, that Taylor wanted to collaborate with such a celebrated artist.

How Did Taylor Swift and Florence Welch Meet?

Taylor has long been a fan of Florence’s, well before they joined forces for The Tortured Poets Department. The two singers appeared to first cross paths in 2012, as Florence is a good friend of Blake Lively’s, one of Taylor’s besties. In 2015, they started to gush publicly about each other.

“What sets Florence apart? Everything,” Taylor told Billboard in May 2015. “Every time I’ve been around her, she is the most magnetic person in the room — surrounded by people who are fascinated by the idea of being near her. But when she meets people, she pays them a warm compliment and immediately disarms them. There are very few people I’ve met in my life who are truly electric, and Florence is one of them.”

Taylor continued, ​​“She’s the most fun person to dance with at a party, but then five minutes later you find yourself sitting on the stairs with her having an in-depth conversation about love and heartbreak.”

Meanwhile, Florence credited Taylor for giving her the boost of confidence she needed to release her third studio album, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful. “Taylor said that you must sing about what’s happening in your life,” the songstress told Billboard.

By 2023, Taylor and Florence proved their friendship was still going strong as they attended a concert together in London. Fans, of course, were greeted by the most significant crossover the friends have shared yet when the track list of The Tortured Poets Department listed Florence as a featured artist on the track “Florida!!!”