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What It’s Like to Be One of Taylor Swift’s 1989 Tour Celebrity Guests: Orange Is the New Black’s Uzo Aduba Explains

2nd Annual Delta Open Mic
Uzo Aduba, post–Taylor concert. Photo: Jim Spellman/Getty Images

Belting out karaoke to a room full of strangers can be a daunting challenge — unless you’re Uzo Aduba and have just had a more high-pressure performance to carry off, like dueting with Taylor Swift at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The Orange Is the New Black star is one of the many women who have joined Swift during her 1989 tour, as she went onstage to sing “White Horse” last week. Vulture ran into Aduba last night at the second annual Delta Open Mic with Serena Williams and asked her about her Taylor experience. “I woke up one morning and I just had a message from her,” Aduba said. “She’s like, ‘Do you want to come sing? Want to sing together? Let’s do something.’ And I was like, ‘All right, cool. Let’s do it!’ She’s good people, and just generous to share her stage and her space. She’s awesome.”

While Swift’s approach sounds remarkably chill, the energy of her concert is a whole other story. “Her audience is phenomenal,” said Aduba. “They are a force to be reckoned with. They know every word.” Facing down a Staples Center full of rabid Swifties to sing a beloved ballad sounds like a terrifying prospect to us, but Aduba rolled with it. “I was initially very nervous,” she admitted. “But then I calmed down. Because as soon as I came up on that elevator, all I felt was love. Like, if love were a tangible thing, I think I could have touched it that night. It was amazing.”

Uzo Aduba Felt the ‘Love’ With Taylor Swift