In 2009 Katy Perry, Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus all shared the same dressing room at the Grammy Awards. All three were rising stars – although yet to achieve the stratospheric level they now occupy. This was before the feud that saw Perry and Swift at odds for years, so they were all friends. However, even friends might have been taken aback by the odd request that Perry made of the other two – which she only later revealed.
All three singers performed at the 2009 show. Perry did a version of her hit single “I Kissed A Girl,” which had featured on her smash 2008 album One of the Boys, while Swift and Cyrus performed the former’s “Fifteen,” which would feature on Fearless, an album that would see Swift return to the Grammys the following year, this time as a winner.
Throughout 2009 the friendship between Swift and Perry was undeniable, with Swift even tweeting that she “loved” Perry, and the two appeared together on stage when Swift toured Fearless. However, that love turned sour as the two fell out, first reputedly over fellow star John Mayer. This was possibly reflected in Swift’s song “Dear John,” which seems to refer to the man whom Perry later dated.
Whatever the truth of that, the two certainly did fall out over a hiring choice. Swift employed some dancers on her 2014 Red tour who had previously worked with Perry, and then, she claimed, Perry had hired them away from her. Bitterness ensued, including the songs “Bad Blood” and “Swish,” both supposedly about the feud. The pair stayed at loggerheads until Perry sent Swift a literal olive branch in 2018.
However, back in 2009, Perry was confident enough to make a very strange request of Swift and Cyrus. She explained to fans at a listening party for her album Prism in 2013 exactly what it was. The singer said, “I asked them for a lock of their hair from each one of them, which is totally creepy, but awesome. I put little bows on them individually and put them in my purse. And that was my little secret and I’m a freak!”