After Taylor Swift surprise-released her eighth studio album, Folklore, last month, fans instantly began attempting to decipher each song, uncovering a number of Swift's trademark Easter eggs along the way. One song, "Betty," captured fans' attention for both the romance described in its lyrics as well as its subject's names — Betty, James and Inez.
Blake Lively, who is good friends with Swift, shares three daughters with husband Ryan Reynolds, two of whom were confirmed to be named James and Inez by their parents. Fans quickly began speculating that Swift's song had revealed the name of the couple's third daughter, who was born last year, and Swift almost completely confirmed the theory in a video explaining the story behind "Betty," which was released ahead of the song's arrival at country radio.
"I named all the characters in this story after my friends' kids," she said, adding that she enjoys songs where she can slip into someone else's identity with her vocal performance. "Betty," which Swift wrote with the mysterious William Bowery, tells the story of James, a 17-year-old boy who tries to win the titular Betty back after doing her wrong, with the school gossip, Inez, showing up to deliver some important information throughout the song.
"I think we all have these situations in our lives where we learn to really, really give a heartfelt apology for the first time. Everybody makes mistakes, everybody really messes up sometimes and this is a song that I wrote from the perspective of a 17-year-old boy," she said. "I've always loved that in music you can kind of slip into different identities, and you can sing from other people's perspectives. So that's what I did on this one."
The clip of Swift speaking was captured by a fan who recorded a video of Swift introducing the song to country radio, marking her first truly country shipment to the format in around seven years. A radio edit of the track with what sounds like a few additional instruments and without swearing was sent to country radio to be added on Aug. 17.
RYAN REYNOLDS AND BLAKE LIVELY REACTION’S WHEN THEY HEAR THEIR DAUGHTER’S VOICE AT THE START OF GORGEOUS AT THE CONCERT OF TAYLOR SWIFT IS THE CUTEST THING pic.twitter.com/nTl4pDaOUK— tiny t⎊ny (@woIvern) July 29, 2018
Aside from her name-drop in "Betty," James Reynolds' voice was previously featured on Swift's song "Gorgeous" from her 2017 album, Reputation. Lively and Reynolds were in the audience at Swift's Reputation Stadium Tour stop at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, where Lively got her phone out to record the moment her daughter's voice came over the speakers.