Charlie Puth has finally responded to Taylor Swift namechecking him on the title track of her new album ‘The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology’.

On the album’s title track, the singer declares: “You smoked then ate seven bars of chocolate / We declared Charlie Puth should be a bigger artist.”

Now, Puth appears to have acknowledged it, albeit indirectly, when he teased a new song called ‘Hero’ on TikTok.

“These last couple weeks have been really crazy for obvious reasons, but I wanted to share something with you,” he wrote. “This is a song I wrote about my friend called ‘Hero’. Sometimes I get a little nervous being overly honest in my music which is why this was sitting on my hard drive for awhile.

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“But I think someone out there was giving me a sign that I needed to release it. So… I declare ‘Hero’ will be out everywhere on May 24th as the first single of my new album. Thank you for your support… you know who you are.”

Numerous artists are namechecked throughout ‘The Tortured Poets Department’. The title track refers to a “Lucy”, which fans seem convinced is a reference to Lucy Dacus, one third of the Grammy-winning group boygenius. Charlie Puth gets a shout out on the same song, while fans are also speculating about whether ‘thanK you aIMee’ is aimed at Kim Kardashian.

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Patti Smith is also namechecked on ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ in the lyric: “I laughed in your face and said, ‘You’re not Dylan Thomas, I’m not Patti Smith / This ain’t the Chelsea Hotel / We’re modern idiots.’”

In response, Smith said: “This is saying I was moved to be mentioned in the company of the great Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. Thank you Taylor.”

The Startling Line are also referenced on the song ‘The Black Dog’. Responding to the name check, they said: “Dear Taylor, we heard the song, thank you for name checking our band. We feel flattered and humbled by the reverberations of love that have come back to us as a result,” they wrote. “It’s an honour to have TSL memorialised on such a lovely song. You didn’t have to do that, but you did, and we appreciate it wholeheartedly. Respect!”

Elsewhere on the album, Swift also name-checked the cult Scottish indie band The Blue Nile on ‘Guilty As Sin?’, which appears to be a nod to Matty Healy, as well as mentioned a person called ‘Lucy’ on the title track – potentially referencing the two’s mutual friend and Boygenius member Lucy Dacus.

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In a three-star review of the album, NME wrote: “‘The Tortured Poets Department’ ends up chasing its own tail with frenzied attempts to respond to critics despite Swift’s current stature.”

It continued: “Swift seems to be in tireless pursuit for superstardom, yet the negative public opinion it can come with irks her, and it’s a tired theme now plaguing her discography and leaving little room for the poignant lyrical observations she excels at. It’s why the pitfalls that mire her 11th studio album are all the more disappointing – she’s proven time and time again she can do better.

“To a Melbourne audience of her ‘Eras Tour’, Swift said that ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ came from a “need” to write. It’s just that maybe we didn’t need to hear it.”

In other Taylor Swift news, it was reported that Matty Healy is “uncomfortable” with the attention from the album but is “relieved” it wasn’t worse.

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