The historical cafe celebrates its 35th anniversary this year.
When discussing legendary music venues, it's imperative to mention Nashville's Bluebird Café. Historically known for giving singer-songwriters a renowned stage to perform on while getting their start, the tiny venue is also known for having surprise performances from some of music’s most talented icons — and Taylor Swift has officially added herself to that list.
The pop star made an unannounced appearance on Saturday (March 31), of course receiving a standing ovation. Before taking shots of Fireball whiskey alongside singer-songwriter Craig Wiseman, Swift performed her own hit “Shake it Off,” and Little Big Town’s “Better Man,” which she penned (and won a Grammy for best country duo/group performance earlier this year).
“I think any songwriter in town would echo my sentiments an say that this is the only place where this exists — this particular place where you get to come and hear the writer’s take on the songs they’ve put out into the world,” T-Swift told the lucky fans in attendance.
Swift’s performance was filmed for a documentary honoring Bluebird Café’s 35th anniversary, which the venue will officially celebrate in June this year. In honor of the anniversary and Swift's recent appearance, here's a list of more music icons who have graced the Bluebird stage in recent years.
The Country star took the Bluebird stage way back in 2000 and discussed his musical process before delving into a few songs.
The Aerosmith lead singer graced the Bluebird Cafe in 2013 with intimate performances of some Aerosmith hits, including, of course, “Dream On.”
The bubbly pop star gave a special acoustic performance as part of her Fill a Heart Tour in 2013.
Willie Nelson performed alongside Kris Kristofferson in 2013 before receiving the first NSAI Kristofferson award that recognizes achievements in Nashville songwriting.
The singer-songwriter took to Bluebird in 2014 to give a raw performance of some of her greatest hits.
In a Rolling Stone mini movie, the singer revisits her early days and talks giving a surprise performance at Bluebird Cafe in 2015.
The season 10 American Idol winner and Nashville native played a few songs as a treat for the attendees of the ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp in 2015.
Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood
Though the country legend served as the surprise Bluebird guest for the night, he was the one left in awe as he sat in on singer-songwriter Victoria Shaw and her daughter Ruby singing a beautiful rendition of his hit “The River” in 2016. Then later, his wife Yearwood joined for “Where Your Road Leads,” which Shaw co-wrote.
The chart topper surprised guests back in 2016, delivering a heart-rending performance of her hit song “Peter Pan.”
The former lead singer of The Babys gave a scheduled performance in 2016, and also showed off his luscious locks.
The trio played an acoustic version of their 2017 hit, “Yours If You Want It.”
The most recent addition to the star-studded surprises, Swift sung “Shake It Off” and shot Fireball, naturally.