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Taylor Swift performs 'Dear John' for the first time in 11 years, asks fans to 'be kind' ahead of 'Speak Now' re-release

By Melanie Uson Published Jun 26, 2023 12:32 pm

Taylor Swift highlighted the importance of extending kindness on the internet when she drops the re-recorded version of her album Speak Now, which includes her hit song Dear John.

In her Minneapolis show on Saturday, June 24, the American pop singer gave a short speech before she surprised her fans with a performance of the song that has been speculated to be about her brief relationship with singer John Mayer in 2009, when she was 19 and he was 32.

Taylor began her speech by expressing her appreciation for the kindness she witnessed during the tour, including bonding among Swifties and handing out friendship bracelets in the venue, among others.

“I get to stand on the stage every single night of this tour and I watch the most beautiful things happen like I watch you guys make friends with each other, I watched you bond, I watch you give each other friendship bracelets,” she said. 

Using it as her starting point, the 33-year-old singer went on to stress the need to spread kindness on the internet as she connected it to the upcoming re-release of the Speak Now album, which includes Dear John. 

"I was hoping to ask you, that as we lead up to this album, I would love for that kindness and that gentleness to extend onto our internet activities. Right?" 

She then reminded her fans of the reason behind her decision to relaunch the album. "So what I'm trying to say is, I'm putting this album out because I want to own my music and I believe that [those] who have the desire to own their music should be able to. That's why I'm putting out this album,” she said. 

"I'm 33 years old. I don't care about anything that happened to me when I was 19, except for the songs I wrote."

"I'm not putting this album out so that you can go and should feel the need to defend me on the internet against someone you think I might have written a song about 14 billion years ago,” she continued. 

Mayer, in 2012, talked about the hit song and opened up about how it made him feel “terrible.” 

“I didn’t deserve it. I’m pretty good at taking accountability now, and I never did anything to deserve that. It was a really lousy thing for her to do,” he said in an interview on Rolling Stone. 

In May this year, Taylor Lautner—one of Swift's ex-boyfriends—also joked about “feeling safe” ahead of the Speak Now re-release. 

"I think it's a great album. Yeah, I feel safe. Praying for John," he said in a previous interview on TODAY. He also posted a TikTok where he can be seen “praying” with Dear John playing in the background.

Speak Now (Taylor's Version) is slated for release on July 7, two years after the release of Fearless (Taylor's Version) in April 2021. Taylor is also busy with her Eras tour that's set to conclude in August.