Taylor Swift is spending a lot of time at Arrowhead Stadium these days.
After rumors started swirling that the pop superstar was romantically involved with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, the internet went wild after Taylor showed up at Arrowhead Stadium to watch the Chiefs take on the Chicago Bears a couple weeks ago with Kelce’s mom, Donna.
Taylor was also at the game at Metlife Stadium when the Chiefs took on the New York Jets, but when she didn’t show up for their next game against the Vikings and Travis got injured, even fans who were sick of the Taylor mania were begging for the superstar to come back and make sure Kelce had some good luck.
Well Taylor once again showed up at Arrowhead last night for the Chiefs game against the Broncos, where Kelce had over 100 receiving yards and Taylor was seen dancing and laughing with the wife of quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
But long before she was sitting in a box watching her boyfriend play, Taylor actually played Arrowhead Stadium all the way back in 2011 on her Speak Now tour.
And on that show with her was Charlie Worsham, one of the most talented guys in all of Nashville.
Charlie released his debut album Rubberband in 2013, and since then he’s served as a session musician for some of the biggest names in country music, earning the respect of pretty much everybody in the industry for his insane talent and impressive resumé.
He’s one of those guys that fans may not know yet, but if you ask your favorite artist who their favorite artist is, 90% of them are going to mention Charlie Worsham.
Even back in 2011, he was the only artist not signed to a record deal that Taylor took out on the road with her for her massive stadium tour.
In an interview with Whiskey Riff, Charlie recalled going out on the road with the superstar:
“Taylor was actually the first person to take me on tour, and she’s a big reason I have the record deal I have.
I was the only opener on the Speak Now tour who didn’t have a deal when they booked me for the tour.”
And Charlie still remembers where he was when he got the call:
“I was standing in a Home Depot. My dad was up here visiting…and my manager at the time called me. I mean I’m in like aisle 17 at a Home Depot in Nashville and he’s like, ‘You wanna open for Taylor Swift?’
I think I started bawling. I mean people were probably thinking, what is this guy doing here?”
After he hit the road with Taylor, Charlie says he got to see firsthand just what a professional Taylor Swift really is:
“I remember thinking highly of her, and then getting out on the road and seeing how hard she worked. That was a big lesson for me. It was the first time I saw how hard you have to work after everything you dream of happens.
Signing the record deal isn’t the finish line. That’s the starting gun.”
Well it just so happens that one of those shows Charlie played with Taylor was at her new stomping grounds, Arrowhead Stadium, so it brought back memories when he saw Taylor on TV in Kansas City:
“I remember going, ‘Oh, I’ve been there with Taylor. I wonder if the dressing rooms are still the same.'”
And it turns out that show at Arrowhead Stadium was the first time that Charlie had ever played a stadium show. But it didn’t exactly go smoothly:
“In the middle of playing my song ‘Mississippi In July’ my guitar pickup goes out. And so I’m just up there, and this was like me, a bass player and a percussionist, very acoustic. So my guitar was a big part of what was happening.
And I just realized like, I’ve got to keep singing. So I’m just sitting here playing, nothing’s coming out, but I’m singing. The techs are running up and changing my cable out, and it finally got back and stuff, but it was a chance for me to show that I could be a pro.”
He also remembers some humorous advice that he got from Taylor Swift’s father at the time:
“He told me that I needed to buy my own bus, and I’m thinking, ‘With what money?'”
Overall, Charlie has nothing but praise for Taylor Swift and what she’s accomplished:
“She’s a force of nature and I just think the world of her, and I just love seeing her dominate the world.”
But when it comes to her relationship with Travis Kelce, Charlie admits that he’s not into football as much as some others in his family:
“I have a feeling if she and Kelce are getting along, he’s probably cut from the same cloth.
But you’d have to refer to my wife Kristen on football. She’s the one teaching me what the rules are.”
Charlie’s come a long way since opening for Taylor Swift, and made quite a name for himself in Nashville. And for his most recent project, Compadres, Charlie teamed up with some of the biggest names in country music to release an album of his own songs – artists like Luke Combs, Lainey Wilson, and Dierks Bentley.
But long before he made an album with his compadres, and long before Taylor Swift was sitting in a box at Arrowhead Stadium watching her boyfriend out on the field, Charlie Worsham was there opening up for her on tour.
And it’s something he’s always going to be thankful for:
“I’m always going to be grateful to her for that.”