Last April, pop culture lovers everywhere were left shocked when it was announced that Taylor Swift had split from her boyfriend Joe Alwyn after more than six and a half incredibly private years together.
While neither Taylor nor Joe ever discussed their relationship in the media, and they were rarely even pictured together, Taylor did not hide the fact that he was her muse, and gave fans an intimate insight into their relationship through her music.
The apparent reckoning started in May, when Taylor appeared to shed some light on what had happened between her and Joe by releasing a new song called “You’re Losing Me.”
However, in November, Joe was back in the headlines after Taylor’s longtime friend and collaborator Jack Antonoff randomly revealed that “You’re Losing Me” had actually been written and recorded long before Taylor and Joe’s split.
The following day, Taylor’s publicist, Tree Paine, added to the whirlwind when she issued an angry tweet denying speculation that Taylor and Joe had secretly gotten married before their split.
When asked about the seriously public way that her romance with Travis had unfolded, Taylor said, “When you say a relationship is public, that means I’m going to see him do what he loves, we’re showing up for each other — other people are there and we don’t care.”
Her fans immediately caught on to her apparent changing of the narrative and discussed it on X, formerly known as Twitter, at the time. One person tweeted, “love the track-by-track j0e erasure. first sweet nothing now this.”
As she accepted the award for Best Pop Vocal Album at the ceremony, Taylor said, "I want to say thank you to the fans by telling you a secret that I have been keeping from you for the last two years, which is that my brand-new album comes out April 19. It’s called The Tortured Poets Department.”
In the 2022 Variety interview, Paul asked Joe, “What’s the name of the group chat that we’re in?” Joe laughed before answering, “Tortured Man Club, I think.”
“It hasn’t had much use recently,” Joe added at the time, with Paul agreeing: “No, I feel like we are less tortured now.”
Paul then revealed that it was Andrew who started the group and chose the name, which is believed to have been inspired by the forlorn characters that he, Joe, and Paul have portrayed onscreen.