Taylor Swift unexpectedly covers Calvin Harris, Rihanna hit during Liverpool show

Taylor Swift stunned concertgoers in Liverpool on Friday (June 14) night with a cover of “This Is What You Came For” by Calvin Harris and Rihanna.

Die-hard fans will know Swift co-wrote the 2016 smash hit under the pseudonym “Nils Sjöberg” while she and Scottish DJ Harris were dating.

During her second night at Anfield Stadium in the northwest of England, Swift performed the EDM single as an acoustic mash-up with her song “Gold Rush”.

In footage from the concert, Swift told fans that what they were about to hear might be “a little unexpected”, adding: “Let’s see how we do tonight.”

Swift has performed “This Is What You Came For” at least once before, when she headlined 2016’s Formula One Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.

Swift and Harris were embroiled in some controversy following their breakup in June 2016 after 15 months of dating. News that Swift had co-written “This Is What You Came For” broke less than a month after their romance ended and after Harris had dismissed the idea of collaborating with his then-girlfriend.

“You know, we haven’t even spoken about it. I can’t see it happening though,” Harris told Ryan Seacrest in April 2016.

After news of Swift’s involvement hit the press, Harris criticised the singer in a series of since-deleted tweets. “I wrote the music, produced the song, arranged it and cut the vocals though. And initially she wanted it kept secret, hence the pseudonym,” he said.

“Hurtful to me at this point that her and her team would go so far out of their way to try and make ME look bad at this stage though.

“I figure if you’re happy in your new relationship you should focus on that instead of trying to tear your ex bf down for something to do,” Harris added, referencing Swift’s then-new romance with actor Tom Hiddleston.

Calvin Harris and Taylor Swift broke up in 2016 after 15 months of dating (Getty Images)
Calvin Harris and Taylor Swift broke up in 2016 after 15 months of dating (Getty Images)

Despite his string of angry tweets, the DJ later told British GQ that “it was completely the wrong instinct” to criticize Swift publicly. “I was protecting what I see as my one talent in the world being belittled. It felt like things were piling on top of me and that was when I snapped,” he told the magazine.

During the 100th show of her ongoing Eras Tour in Liverpool on Thursday night, Swift announced when the record-breaking run of shows would officially come to an end.

“I think a lot of people are like, well, how are you going to celebrate the 100th show?” she told the screaming crowd.

“And for me, the celebration of the 100th show for me means this is the very first time I’ve ever acknowledged to myself and admitted that this tour is gonna end in December. Like, that’s it.”

Swift went on to say that the tour has “become my entire life” and claimed that she no longer remembers her hobbies because “all I do when I’m not on stage is just like sit at home and try to think of some clever acoustic song mashups and thinking about what you might like to hear”.

The Eras Tour is the highest-grossing tour of all time, having generated over a billion dollars in revenue. The final date currently announced is in Vancouver, on Sunday December 8, 2024, which will be the 152nd show of the tour.

In a five-star review of Swift’s first UK stop of The Eras Tour in Edinburgh, The Independent’s Annabel Nugent wrote: “Nostalgia is a powerful thing and tonight, Swift uncorks bottles and bottles of it, spraying it like champagne on an obliging, adoring audience. It’s like mainlining dopamine for three hours straight.”