Taylor Swift announces first ‘Tortured Poets Department’ single as fans fight album leaks

With parts of Taylor Swift’s new album “The Tortured Poets Department” reportedly leaked online, her fans rallied Thursday to stop their spread.

Some people apparently couldn’t wait until midnight for Swift’s much-anticipated 11th album, as unconfirmed snippets of songs circulated on social media beginning Wednesday.

It remained unclear Thursday if any of the audio was legitimate, but several social media posts claiming to include the leaks were removed.

Meanwhile, Swifties insisted that “true fans” would wait for the official release on Friday at midnight ET.

“Every TTPD LEAK, block and report,” one fan wrote on Twitter. “PROTECT TTPD. F– YOU IF YOU EVER LISTEN TO THEM.”

By Thursday afternoon, social media was full of fake “leaks” posted by “true” fans hoping to confuse anyone seeking out the leaks. Others claimed the leaks were just artificial intelligence gobbledygook.

“[H]ope [T]aylor knows her real fans would not listen to or spread leaks and that we love her,” another Swiftie wrote.

As the rumors swirled, Swift announced Thursday afternoon that the album’s first single will be “Fortnight,” featuring Post Malone.

“I’ve been such a huge fan of Post because of the writer he is, his musical experimentation and those melodies he creates that just stick in your head forever,” she wrote on Twitter. “I got to witness that magic come to life firsthand when we worked together on Fortnight.”

A music video for the song will be released Friday at 8 p.m. ET, Swift said.

Swift, 34, has masterminded every step behind the release of “The Tortured Poets Department,” first announcing the album during an acceptance speech at the Grammys and then teasing it in several social media posts, including one on Wednesday.

Leak rumors started on Wednesday when social media users claimed to have access to a Google Drive link with all 17 audio files for the new album’s tracks. However, it was impossible to know if the leaks were legitimate without any confirmation from Swift or her team, which they unsurprisingly did not provide.

Reported album leaks are nothing new for Swift. Clips of “Midnights” reportedly surfaced days before the album’s October 2022 release date, but that didn’t stop it from going double platinum in just over a month.

Swift’s albums have been so highly anticipated that she’s been battling leak rumors for a decade. Her fifth album, “1989,” was leaked a few days early in October 2014. And even then, Swifties wouldn’t listen early.

“I refuse to listen to ‘1989’ until Monday. As far as I’m concerned, listening to the leak is disrespectful to [Taylor Swift],” one fan wrote at the time.