Taylor Swift is no stranger to thanking the music legends that came before her. Earlier this week the 31-year-old singer gave props to another artist — even as she broke a record he'd held for decades.
Don McLean, the singer of the nearly nine-minute-long hit "American Pie," has held the record for longest song to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart since 1972. However, Swift unseated him with her ten-minute version of "All Too Well," which was released in November and hit No. 1 later that month.
Swift sent a bouquet of flowers and sweet note to McLean, thanking him for his music.
The 76-year-old artist proudly shared Swift’s gracious gift to him on social media. On Instagram, he posted a photo smiling next to the stunning bouquet of white flowers.
“What a class act!” McLean captioned the post. “Thank you Taylor Swift for the flowers and note.”
McLean also shared a picture of the note Swift sent him.
"I will never forget that I'm standing on the shoulders of giants," read the handwritten card. "Your music has been so important to me. Sending love one writer of LONG SONGS to another."
“There is something to be said for a great song that has staying power,” McLean said in the statement. “‘American Pie’ remained on the top for 50 years and now Taylor Swift has unseated such a historic piece of artistry. Let’s face it, nobody ever wants to lose that #1 spot, but if I had to lose it to somebody, I sure am glad it was another great singer/songwriter such as Taylor.”
The extended version of "All Too Well" is Swift's eighth song to top the Hot 100 chart.
There are two versions of the song on “Red (Taylor’s Version),” one of which spans 5:29 and the extended version at 10:13. Both songs are combined into one listing on the charts, but the original 2012 version will be tracked separately.
After it was brought up in an interview years ago, fans have been anxiously awaiting the 10-minute version of Swift’s critically acclaimed track. During her appearance on “The Tonight Show” the night before her album dropped, Swift revealed to host Jimmy Fallon that she wrote the longer version of “All Too Well” during a rehearsal when she was 21 while she was feeling “really upset and sad.”
Swift said the song ended up being an “absurd length,” so it was eventually cut down to the five-minute version on the original album.
During an interview on “Late Night With Seth Meyers,” Swift said that after nearly 10 years, she was happy that the original version of the song finally saw the light of day.
“I’m so proud of this version of it,” she told Meyers. “I think this version is the version of the song that was meant to be heard.”
The 10-minute version of the song features a slightly different arrangement of the original tune, including plenty of new lyrics for fans to learn and sing along to.
Now that it is finally out in the world, the extended version of the track has taken on a new life. On Spotify, the vault track has been streamed over 100 million times. Swift also released a short film starring Dylan O’Brien and Sadie Sink for the song the night that the album released.
The next day, she performed the entire extended version as the musical guest on “Saturday Night Live,” which has racked up over 3 million views on YouTube since it aired.
This story first appeared on TODAY.com. More from TODAY: