Taylor Swift Finally Confirmed That "William Bowery" Is Her Boyfriend, Joe Alwyn, And Told The Stories Of How They Came To Write "Betty" And "Exile" Together

    After months of speculation, Taylor confirmed that "William Bowery" — the mystery songwriter she collaborated with on "Betty" and "Exile" — was in fact a pseudonym used by Joe.

    After four months of speculation, Taylor Swift has finally confirmed that "William Bowery" — the mystery songwriter whom she collaborated with on Folklore — is in fact her boyfriend, Joe Alwyn.

    Johannes Eisele / Getty Images

    I'm sure you'll remember that when Folklore was released back in July, Taylor revealed that she'd worked with the National's Aaron Dessner and longtime collaborator Jack Antonoff on most of the tracks.

    However, two of the songs, "Betty" and "Exile," were credited to Taylor and a mysterious "William Bowery." However, when fans searched for the name online, they found no evidence that this singer-songwriter existed.

    Genius

    Since Taylor has been known to use pseudonyms before — Hi, Nils Sjöberg — intense speculation began over who "William Bowery" could be, with Joe being the most popular suspect.

    Jackson Lee / GC Images

    Fans quickly noted that not only was Joe's great-grandfather a composer named William, but that he and Taylor had actually hung out at the Bowery Hotel in New York right at the start of their relationship.

    WILLIAM BOWERY theory on oct 2016, taylor (w her squad) & alwyn were spotted in BOWERY hotel. (smth special mustve happened here, that's why she used d name "BOWERY" i guess?) WILLIAM alwyn is literally joe alwyns great-grandpa. he was was composer, conductor, and music teacher

    In fact, that outing was one of the first times the pair were spotted in the same location, although their relationship remained under wraps for months.

    Other fans have noted that there's also a bar called the Bowery at the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street in Los Angeles, which may hold significance for the pair since "Sunset and Vine" was used as a lyric in Taylor's 2017 track "Gorgeous," which some have speculated is about Joe.

    Well, in a new concert film dedicated to exploring the album in detail, Taylor has now confirmed that her fans were correct!

    BBC

    Speaking about the song "Exile," Taylor didn't even attempt to contribute to the mystery around her collaborator and instead came straight out and confirmed the fan speculation by saying: "So, William Bowery is Joe, as we know."

    Disney Plus

    "Joe plays piano beautifully," she went on in reference to how the collaboration came about. "He's always just playing and making things up and kind of creating things. Joe had written that entire piano part."

    Disney Plus

    "He was singing the Bon Iver part, the 'I can see you standin', honey / With his arms around your body / Laughin' but the joke's not funny at all,'" she added. "He was just singing it. And I was entranced and asked if we could keep writing that one."

    Taylor went on to explain that after hearing Joe singing the verse, she knew the song should be a duet — and that asking Bon Iver to feature was perfect since they're both huge fans.

    Ricky Vigil M / GC Images

    "It was pretty obvious that it should be a duet because he's got such a low voice, and it sounded really good sung down there in that register," she said. "And then, we’re really, really, really big Bon Iver fans. And, you know, we know that Aaron knows him..."

    And Taylor then revealed that "Betty" was actually the first song they wrote together after she heard Joe singing "the entire fully formed chorus from another room".

    Netflix

    "I just heard Joe singing the entire fully formed chorus of 'Betty' from another room," she said. "And I was just like, hello. It was a step that we would never have taken, because why would we have ever written a song together?"

    Disney Plus

    "So this was the first time we had a conversation where I came in and I was like, hey, this could be really weird, and we could hate this — so, because we're in quarantine and there’s nothing else going on, could we just try to see what it's like if we write this song together?" she went on.

    "I thought it sounded really good from a masculine perspective," she added. "And I really liked that it seemed to be an apology. I've written so many songs from a female's perspective of wanting a male apology that we decided to make it from a teenage boy's perspective, apologising after he loses the love of his life because he's been foolish."

    So, now we know!

    Ellie Woodward is Celebrity and Entertainment Editor for BuzzFeed UK and is based in London.

    Contact Ellie Woodward at ellie.woodward@buzzfeed.com.

    Got a confidential tip? Submit it here