Taylor Swift has finally released her newest album, Reputation, and with it have come answers to some of the Internet’s most burning questions regarding the singles released in the past few months. Namely, the question of who the small child is who can be heard saying the word “gorgeous” towards the beginning of the song appropriately titled "Gorgeous."
The voice could belong to anyone; it could be Swift’s voice digitally altered to sound that way, it could be a random baby’s voice, or perhaps the voice of a baby close to Taylor, or, as some thought, ripped from a viral video.
Since Swift remained quiet on the subject until yesterday’s release, people began speculating. One popular theory was that Swift had stolen a soundbite from a popular video of a young black toddler adorably calling herself gorgeous while looking at the mirror. Jayde Robinson, the baby’s mother, uploaded it to her Instagram account in May.
A post shared by Jayde-Kamille ❤️ (@jayde_robinson1) on May 8, 2017 at 1:59pm PDT
Robinson herself initiated the speculation that Swift bit the soundbite from one of her videos.
A post shared by Jayde-Kamille ❤️ (@jayde_robinson1) on Oct 20, 2017 at 12:21pm PDT
The accusations were particularly cutting since Swift has also recently been accused of stealing the aesthetic of the recent American version of Ghost in the Shell. As if that wasn't enough, Swift has spent a lot of energy on her new album going after Kanye West, and many fans took issue with the fact that Swift's "Gorgeous" seemed to be a subtle dig at Kanye's "Gorgeous," so the song was mired in controversy from the start. Furthermore, Beyoncé is currently battling a similar lawsuit of her own, wherein the family of the late New Orleans YouTube comedian and bounce rapper, Anthony Barré a.k.a Messy Mya, claims she sampled two of his popular phrases on her track, “Formation,” without permission.
But there was another camp who believed something entirely different. Swift held numerous “secret sessions” in the lead up to her album, which consisted of inviting fans to one of her houses around the world to listen to the album in full with Swift before it was released. In one of these sessions, Swift reportedly revealed that the baby was James Reynolds, daughter of Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds, who are good friends of Swift’s. Fans reportedly had to sign confidentiality agreements to not speak about what was said in these listening sessions, but somehow the news came out.
So it's confirmed the baby's voice at the beginning off #Gorgeous is Blake and Ryan baby girl James.— TAYLOR/reputation (@wally_lw) October 20, 2017
Before today, these competing rumors were just floating around the Internet. But now, the latter theory has been officially confirmed. In the booklet that comes with the physical copy of Reputation, two-year-old James Reynolds is credited on the song “Gorgeous” as the “baby intro voice.”
The more cynical among us may question whether Swift stole the video and then, in an attempt to clear her name, credited it to one of her best friend’s young daughters. In all fairness, that appears to be a particularly mean-spirited interpretation of this situation, particularly because it was rumored that it was James Reynolds' voice all along, so it's not a random attribution. Nevertheless, Swift always seems to get herself in these shady situations.
Well, that clears up that mystery. Now we can all go back to the important issue: deciphering all the digs Swift makes at Kanye on the album and imagining how—and if—Kanye will respond.