Turns out Taylor Swift’s NFL beau Travis Kelce might be ready for the concert stage, too. The Kansas City Chiefs tight end showed off his singing ability with his brother and Philadelphia Eagles star Jason Kelce for a new Christmas song.
The duo teamed up for “Fairytale of Philadelphia,” that released Wednesday and appears on the Eagles’ new holiday album A Philly Special Christmas Special. No word on whether Travis will perform an Eras Tour duet anytime soon.
A two-time Super Bowl champion and eight-time Pro Bowler, Travis Kelce reached a new stratosphere of fame in September when rumors began swirling that he is dating pop music megastar Swift. Although they’ve yet to publicly confirm the relationship, the pair have regularly appeared together in public—with Taylor attending a number of his football games and Travis recently joining the singer for her tour stop in Argentina.
Entire legions of Swifties—including some who might have never followed football before—are now clamoring for more information about her alleged love interest. They’re learning that the 34-year-old football player from Ohio has led an interesting and colorful life, even beyond his accomplishments on the field.
Here are 10 things you might not know about Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.
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He faced his brother in the Super Bowl
Jason Kelce speaks with his brother, Travis, after Super Bowl LVII on February 12, 2023.
Travis’ brother Jason, 35, is a center for the Eagles, and the two faced off when Kansas City took on Philadelphia in Super Bowl LVII on February 12, 2023. It marked the first time two brothers had played against each other in the NFL’s championship game.
Travis emerged victorious as the Chiefs won the game 38-35, marking his second Super Bowl victory. He previously won Super Bowl LIV with Kansas City three years earlier. Jason went out of his way to congratulate his brother immediately after the big game, offering three words: “F–– you, congratulations.”
He wears the number 87 because of his brother
Kelce’s jersey bears the number 87, which the tight end specifically chose in honor of his brother Jason, who was born in 1987. “If there is a Kelce legacy, two brothers making it to the NFL, it all started in 1987, because this big guy was born in 1987,” Kelce said of his older brother.
Jason has been influencing Travis’ career since their early days. Upon graduating from high school, Travis was being recruited to play football by several colleges, including Akron, Miami, and Eastern Michigan, but he chose the University of Cincinnati in part because his brother played there as well.
He considered playing professional baseball
Travis Kelce throws the first pitch at a Cleveland Guardians game in April 2023.
Kelce ran into some trouble during his college football career when he was suspended for the entire 2010 season at the University of Cincinnati after failing a drug test for marijuana. “I thought football was over for me,” said Kelce, who joined an Ohio baseball league and had excelled at the sport in high school. He even considered switching his professional focus to baseball.
His brother Jason, however, persuaded Travis not to give up on his football prospects and helped convince the Bearcats coaching staff to give his younger brother another shot. Jason also provided Travis with meals and a place to work out. “He knew exactly what I wanted to do in life,” Travis said of his brother.
Nobody pronounces his name correctly
Not even Kelce’s own family agrees on how to pronounce their last name. Almost everyone, including NFL broadcasters, says “Kell-see,” so Travis shocked the world when he revealed during a podcast interview that his real name is pronounced “Kell-ss.” Even his teammates were surprised; Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes said Kelce “never corrected us once.”
Kelce later clarified that everyone on his father’s side of the family has long pronounced it “Kell-ss,” but Travis’ father “just kind of got lazy and didn’t really wanna keep correcting everybody that was calling him Kell-see, so he just went along with Kell-see.” Once Travis and his brother Jason became famous NFL stars, the Kell-see pronunciation stuck.
He had a short-lived reality dating show
Kelce starred in his own reality television series called Catching Kelce, which ran for a single season in 2016 on the E! network. Somewhat in the style of The Bachelor, multiple women competed for the NFL star’s heart, participating in group dates with him as one woman got eliminated each week. The winner at the end of the season got to date Kelce.
The victory went to Maya Benberry, and she and Kelce briefly continued dating after the show wrapped. They had split up by early 2017. Benberry later complained about her portrayal on the show, saying they “totally misrepresented my character.”
He called the mayor of Cincinnati a “jabroni”
Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval caught flack from Travis Kelce after his own trash talk during the 2023 NFL playoffs.
Before the Chiefs faced the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC championship game in January 2023, Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval caught a little flack for trash talking Kansas City in a viral tweet. Among other remarks, he gloated about Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow’s 3-0 record against Mahomes and called the Chiefs’ Arrowhead Stadium “Burrowhead.”
So, immediately after Kansas City beat Cincinnati 23-20 to advance to the Super Bowl, a hyped up Kelce shouted to the cameras, “Burrowhead my ass, it’s Mahomes’ house!” In a later interview, Kelce yelled to Pureval, “Know your role, and shut your mouth, you jabroni,” echoing a famous catchphrase by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Pureval later admitted he “deserved that.”
He hosted Saturday Night Live
Travis Kelce delivers the opening monologue on Saturday Night Live on March 4, 2023.
Kelce hosted the famous sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live on March 4, 2023. He is one of about three dozen professional athletes to step into the hosting role, with others including Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, Deion Sanders, and Derek Jeter. Kelce was widely praised for his appearance, and former SNL cast member Carl Weathers compared his comedic abilities to those of retired NFL quarterback Peyton Manning.
He took a knee with Colin Kaepernick
Former quarterback Colin Kaepernick ignited a firestorm when he took a knee during the national anthem at a preseason NFL game in 2016 in protest for police brutality and racial inequality in the United States. Kaepernick hasn’t played professionally since that year, and he later brought a lawsuit against NFL owners for allegedly colluding to keep him out of the league.
While Kaepernick’s protests cost him his career, many tend to forget that Kelce also took a knee during the national anthem protests, making him one of the highest-profile NFL players to do so. Kelce later expressed solidarity with his teammate Mahomes when the Kansas City quarterback spoke out against police brutality following the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
He has a successful podcast with his brother
Several years ago, Travis and Jason Kelce got dinner after a Chiefs game, along with Travis’ manager Aaron Eanes. The two brothers sat around the table for hours joking around and bantering about how to block different NFL defensive linemen. Eanes called it “the funniest s––t I ever heard,” and the brothers realized it could be a winning formula for a podcast.
In September 2022, that idea became reality when the Kelce brothers launched their podcast New Heights. The title references the Cleveland Heights area where they grew up. The show has proven to be a huge success, reaching No. 2 overall on Apple podcasts by February.
More recently, Travis has been known to offer glimpses into his relationship with Swift during their conversations.
He holds a ton of NFL records
Travis Kelce goes for a touchdown catch in a December 2017 game.
Kelce has had seven consecutive seasons with at least 1,000 receiving yards, the most of any tight end in NFL history. He also holds the record for most receiving yards by a tight end in a single season, with 1,416 in 2020, and last year, he reached 10,000 career receiving yards faster than any other tight end.
Kelce also holds the record for most receptions by an NFL tight end in his first 10 seasons, with 814 catches. He has caught 16 touchdown passes in playoff games, a record for the tight end position. The legendary wide receiver Jerry Rice—who had 22 career touchdown passes—is the only player at any position to surpass Kelce’s postseason total.
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Colin McEvoy joined the Biography.com staff in 2023, and before that had spent 16 years as a journalist, writer, and communications professional. He is the author of two true crime books: Love Me or Else and Fatal Jealousy. He is also an avid film buff, reader, and lover of great stories.
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Tyler Piccotti joined the Biography.com staff in 2023, and before that had worked almost eight years as a newspaper reporter and copy editor. He is a graduate of Syracuse University, an avid sports fan, a frequent moviegoer, and trivia buff.
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Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift: Travis Kelce, the Kansas City Chiefs tight end, has recently gained attention not only for his achievements on the football field but also for his alleged relationship with pop music megastar Taylor Swift. Despite the lack of public confirmation, the pair has been seen together at public events, sparking curiosity among fans. Kelce's rise to fame has led to increased interest in his personal life, and fans are eager to learn more about the 34-year-old football player from Ohio.
"Fairytale of Philadelphia" and Musical Endeavors: Travis Kelce showcased his singing ability alongside his brother, Jason Kelce, and Philadelphia Eagles star, for a new Christmas song titled "Fairytale of Philadelphia." The song is part of the Eagles' holiday album, "A Philly Special Christmas Special." This musical collaboration has sparked interest in Kelce's potential for a concert stage debut, leading to speculation about a possible duet with Taylor Swift in the future.
Football Achievements and Personal Life: Kelce's football career has been marked by significant achievements, including two Super Bowl victories and eight Pro Bowl appearances. Notably, he faced his brother, Jason Kelce, in Super Bowl LVII, making history as the first pair of brothers to play against each other in the NFL's championship game. Additionally, Kelce's jersey number, 87, holds special significance as a tribute to his brother, who was born in 1987.
Influence of Brother Jason Kelce: Jason Kelce has played a pivotal role in Travis Kelce's career, influencing his decision to attend the University of Cincinnati for football. After facing challenges during his college football career, including a suspension, Travis considered pursuing professional baseball. However, with the support and encouragement of his brother, he persevered in football and overcame obstacles to achieve success.
Pronunciation of Last Name and Reality TV Appearance: The pronunciation of the Kelce family name has been a point of confusion, with Travis revealing that the correct pronunciation is "Kell-ss," contrary to the commonly used "Kell-see." Additionally, Travis Kelce starred in a reality television series, "Catching Kelce," reminiscent of "The Bachelor," where multiple women competed for his affection.
Engagement with Cincinnati Mayor and Saturday Night Live Hosting: Travis Kelce engaged in playful banter with Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval before the AFC championship game, showcasing his charismatic personality. Furthermore, he hosted Saturday Night Live in March 2023, receiving praise for his comedic abilities and joining a select group of professional athletes who have hosted the show.
Social Activism and Podcast Success: Kelce has demonstrated social activism by taking a knee during national anthem protests, aligning himself with teammate Patrick Mahomes in speaking out against police brutality. Additionally, he co-hosts a successful podcast, "New Heights," with his brother, which has garnered widespread popularity and offers insights into his personal life, including his relationship with Taylor Swift.
NFL Records and Achievements: Travis Kelce holds numerous NFL records, including seven consecutive seasons with at least 1,000 receiving yards, the most of any tight end in NFL history. He also achieved the fastest 10,000 career receiving yards among tight ends and holds the record for most receptions by an NFL tight end in his first 10 seasons. His postseason performance has also set records for touchdown catches, solidifying his legacy in the NFL.
This comprehensive overview covers the various aspects of Travis Kelce's life, from his football career and family influence to his musical endeavors, social activism, and personal achievements.