Belfast Telegraph

Taylor Swift kicks off 30th birthday celebrations at Jingle Bell Ball

The pop superstar thrilled fans at London’s O2 Arena with a selection of her hits.

Taylor Swift performs on stage during day two of Capital’s Jingle Bell Ball (Isabel Infantes/PA)
Taylor Swift performs on stage during day two of Capital’s Jingle Bell Ball (Isabel Infantes/PA)

By Alex Green, PA Entertainment Reporter

Taylor Swift kicked off her 30th birthday celebrations early with a headline show at Capital’s Jingle Bell Ball.

The US star was surprised with cake and balloons backstage at the O2 Arena on Sunday night – ahead of her birthday on December 13.

Speaking before her performance, Swift said she felt like she was “on the brink” of knowing herself and that she wasn’t scared of turning 30.

She told Capital FM host Jimmy Hill: “Thank you – you’ve made me feel so special and you’re the first people to celebrate my birthday.”

She added: “People are saying that 30 and the 30s are the time.”

Hill replied: “It’s the time. Because you know yourself. Do you know what I mean?”

Taylor Swift and Jimmy Hill backstage at Capital’s Jingle Bell Ball (Capital/PA)

Swift said: “Yeah, I definitely feel that. I feel I’m on the brink of that for sure.”

The Grammy-winner took to the stage flanked by four backing singers and her band, wearing a white outfit featuring knee-high boots, a choker and her trademark red lipstick.

She performed older tracks such as 22 and an acoustic version of We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together against a shifting backdrop of a night sky.

British actor Joe Alwyn (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Swift also drew from her recent seventh record Lover, playing songs including Me! and London Boy, which fans have speculated is about her boyfriend, British actor Joe Alwyn.

“It’s really no secret how much I love London,” she said before asking the crowd: “Would it be alright if we played a song called London Boy?”

Alwyn, 28, did not appear to be present at the concert, a rare UK date for the artist.

Swift donned a Father Christmas hat to perform her new festive song, the upbeat Christmas Tree Farm, which was released this week along with a music video of her old home videos.

Swift closed the two-night event, which was headlined by Stormzy and Harry Styles on Saturday, with her dance-pop hit Shake It Off.

Anne-Marie on stage at the O2 Arena (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Anne-Marie opened the show with a salvo of hits including Rockabye, her collaboration with Clean Bandit and Sean Paul.

Rapper AJ Tracey performed a high-intensity rendition of his track Ladbroke Grove.

The evening also saw performances from Tom Walker, Mabel, The Script and Sam Smith.

Sam Smith performs at the Jingle Bell Ball (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Brit Award-winner Smith took to the stage in a pastel pink quilted outfit and eyeliner, flanked by a group of backing dancers.

Earlier this year the multi-award-winning singer came out as non-binary and announced the wish to be referred to by the pronouns they/them.

Their set included the hits Latch, Dancing With A Stranger and How Do You Sleep?

More information is at



From Belfast Telegraph