Taylor Swift brings megawatt star power to Super Bowl showdown in Las Vegas

With her Kansas City Chiefs jacket slung over her shoulder and her gold necklace bearing Travis Kelce’s number, 87, music megastar Taylor Swift brought a bevy of celebrity friends to cheer her beau on at the Super Bowl in Las Vegas on Sunday.

The 34-year-old pop icon was the brightest in a galaxy of stars attending the game after making a trans-Pacific dash back to the United States on Saturday, after performing in the latest leg of her money-spinning world tour in Tokyo.

Closed-circuit footage screened inside Allegiant Stadium showed Swift arriving, and she was comfortably ensconced in a luxury suite along with actor Blake Lively and Ice Spice – as well as Kelce’s parents Donna and Ed and brother Jason – by the time the NFL spectacular between the Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers kicked off.

Swift fans watching at home were treated to their first glimpse of her during pregame festivities, when broadcaster CBS offered a cutaway shot of the singer and friends.

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Ice Spice, from left, Ashley Avignone, Taylor Swift and Blake Lively react during the first half. Photo: AP

Swift’s relationship with charismatic Chiefs star Kelce has captivated the NFL and popular culture this season, bringing legions of new female fans to the sport and sending television ratings rocketing.

She has regularly appeared at Kansas City games to watch Kelce, and her appearance in Las Vegas is tipped to help set a television ratings record for the Super Bowl, already the biggest event on the US sporting calendar.

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Kelce, meanwhile, says he is relishing the attention that his celebrity romance has brought, and joked this week that he feels under pressure to win on Sunday after Swift’s record-breaking fourth Album of the Year award at last weekend’s Grammys.

“She’s unbelievable,” Kelce said of Swift. “She’s rewriting the history books.

“I told her I need to hold up my end of the bargain and bring home some hardware, too.”

TMZ reported that Kelce was shelling out more than US$1 million for a luxury suite at Allegiant Stadium, the celebrity news website saying Swift’s mother, Andrea and father, Scott, along with Kelce’s parents Donna and Ed, were among the family members who would be accommodated.

Swift’s presence at Chiefs games and breathless media coverage of her sprint to Las Vegas from Tokyo has been criticised by some fans.

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Kansas City Chiefs’ Travis Kelce. Photo: EPA-EFE

But the singer’s detractors were given short shrift by British music diva Adele during an eve-of-Super Bowl concert at Caesars Palace on Saturday night.

“I’m a bit torn, because I kind of want the 49ers to win … but I think I want the Chiefs to win just because of Taylor Swift’s boyfriend,” Adele told fans at her show, adding in expletive-filled comments that naysayers should “get a life”.

“It’s actually made it a bit more enjoyable to watch, because like I said, I have no idea what’s going on,” Adele quipped.

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The NFL has welcomed the new audience Swift has brought to the league, but commissioner Roger Goodell last week found himself dismissing conspiracy theories suggesting the Super Bowl had been rigged in a bid to tip this year’s presidential election in favour of President Joe Biden.

Goodell said the theories were “frankly not even worth talking about”.

On Sunday former president Donald Trump, the front-runner to take on Biden in November, said in a post on Truth Social on Sunday that a Swift endorsement of Biden in the 2024 election would be “disloyal”.

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The San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs playing. Photo: AP

Trump, claiming credit for the Music Modernization Act, said the legislation addressing copyright law and streaming rights had benefitted Swift.

“Joe Biden didn’t do anything for Taylor, and never will,” Trump wrote, saying there was “no way” the singer would endorse Biden and “be disloyal to the man who made her so much money.”

“Besides that, I like her boyfriend, Travis, even though he may be a Liberal, and probably can’t stand me!” Trump added.

While Kelce has largely steered clear of public comments on politics, he drew the ire of the right for appearing in ads promoting Covid-19 vaccines.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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