Taylor Swift is having the best year ever. Last night, her sold-out 1989 tour broke a record at the Staples Center. Swift is now the artist with the most sold-out shows at the venue, Gossip Cop reports. With 16 sold-out shows at the Staples Center under her belt, Taylor is the undisputed queen at that particular venue in L.A.
The Staples Center unfurled a huge championship banner in Swift’s honor to celebrate her milestone. But the biggest surprise came when Kobe Bryant, star player for the Los Angeles Lakers, came on stage to congratulate her and was greeted with rapturous applause. Kobe pointed to the drop-down banner as Taylor’s fans cheered. Later, Swift hugged him in gratitude.
“Sixteen is a very special number here in Los Angeles because 16 is the same amount of championships that we have as a Lakers franchise,” Bryant said to the audience, according to Entertainment Tonight. “To celebrate those championships, we do something very special. We hang banners. That’s what we do.”
The whole thing made Taylor Swift really happy and we have the Instagram posts to prove it.
“The screams you hear from an LA crowd when Kobe walks out onstage are so deafening you think you may have permanent hearing loss. But it was SO WORTH IT,” Swift wrote on Instagram afterward. “The banners up at Staples Center right now because WHAT IS LIFE EVEN.”
Taylor kicked off the fist of a five-night stint at the Staples Center, and in true T. Swift style, she got a little help from her friends to keep the party going. Singer and songwriter Ryan Tedder joined Taylor on stage to perform “Counting Stars.” Taylor has had many guest performances on this tour. Her surprise acts have included Julia Roberts, girl groups Fifth Harmony and Little Mix, Russell Wilson, Ciara, and Fetty Wap.
Backstage, Taylor partied it up with Modern Family star Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Law and Order: SVU star Mariska Hargitay who was in Swift’s “Bad Blood” video. Before getting on stage at the Staple Center, Taylor shared a throwback photo of one of the first gigs of her career.
Taylor didn’t include the date with the photo, but it shows a much younger Swift playing guitar with a band behind her on a riverfront. There’s also a small Taylor Swift banner attached to the makeshift stage in red text on a white background.
“Getting ready to play 5 shows at Staples Center in LA this week and reminiscing about what my gigs used to be like,” Swift captioned the photo.
Taylor Swift will be performing at the Staples Center for the next four nights.
[Photo by Christopher Polk/ Getty Images]