Taylor Swift’s biggest fear is violence. Looking forward to her 30th birthday in December, the singer wrote an essay for Elle titled “30 Things I Learned Before Turning 30.” In the essay, Swift admitted that she discovered her fear of violence after hearing about the Manchester bombing and the Las Vegas shooting.
In May of 2017, a bomb detonated at an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena in the U.K. The blast killed 23 people, including the bomber. Then, in October that year, a man opened fire on concert-goers at the Route 61 Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada. The shots fired from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel killed 58 people, and the shooter was later found dead.
The tragic attacks created a new sense of panic in concert-goers and musicians alike.
“I was completely terrified to go on tour this time because I didn’t know how we were going to keep 3 million fans safe over seven months,” Swift said in her essay. “There was a tremendous amount of planning, expense, and effort put into keeping my fans safe.”
Out of fear for her own safety and the safety of her fans — and not knowing what else to do — she began carrying around army-grade bandages for emergencies.
Swift’s fear of violence not only affected her work life, but also her personal life — especially as she faced danger from stalkers on more than one occasion. She explained that tabloids have posted her home address in the past, which led to several scary incidents.
In 2018, Swift was granted a restraining order against a man who attempted to enter her home with a knife, according to the BBC. She earned a second restraining order against a man in September after he sent her several letters threatening to rape and kill her.
In February of 2018, another man attacked her front door with a shovel. That same man returned later and successfully broke into Swift’s apartment, took a shower, and then fell asleep. He was sentenced to six months in prison.
“You kind of start prepping for bad things,” the singer said of her situation.
Despite everything, Swift tries to maintain a positive outlook on her life — explaining that she often tries to remember the good in the world and her faith in humanity.
“We have to live bravely in order to truly feel alive, and that means not being ruled by our greatest fears,” Swift concluded.