Who is Tree Paine? Meet the puppeteer behind Taylor Swift.

If you heard the words The Tortured Poets Department at least once over the past fortnight, then Tree Paine has done her job correctly.

But the fact that you've most likely seen, heard, breathed and fully immersed your soul in Taylor Swift's 11th studio album is proof that Paine is not your run-of-the-mill publicist. She's a mastermind and a major cog in the machine that has shot Swift all the way to the billionaire's club.

Who is Tree Paine?

Born Trina Snyder, businesswoman Paine is Swift's go-to right-hand woman. 

Just like Kris Jenner (if not more powerful), Paine doesn't miss a beat. She calls the shots, she manages the narrative, she executes the marketing campaigns, and she speaks on behalf of Swift at every given moment.

On a personal level, Paine likes to keep things pretty hush hush (ever the publicist), but we do know that she has been married to her husband Lance since 1998 and the pair have a teenage daughter.

Tree Paine. Image: Getty.

It's rare for the public to know much about the publicity teams behind some of the biggest stars in the world, however given the intense interest surrounding Swift's every move, it's hardly surprising that people want to know more about the woman who runs this well-oiled machine.


A career that lead her to Swift.

Paine put in the hard yards to become one of the world's most successful publicists.

Just like Swift, Paine has music roots at her core. After graduating from the University of Southern California, she cut her eye teeth in the recording industry, taking on various roles including an internship position at British label Mute Records.

From there, Paine continued to work her way up the ladder with roles at World Domination Recordings, Maverick Records and Interscope Records throughout the '90s. By 2007, the savvy businesswoman had built an incredible roster of clients, and her experience led her to a job at Warner Music Nashville as vice president of publicity. 

By 2013, Paine had advanced to the role of senior vice president of publicity for Warner Music Group's country and Christian subdivisions — no small feat.

In 2014, it was time for Paine to branch out on her own and launch a public relations firm called Premium PR. Her first client to sign? Oh, no big deal — just Taylor Swift. Since then she has been a loyal professional companion to the singer/songwriter and has guided her through album releases, breakups, public feuds and everything in between.


A master of putting out fires and making them burn.

There's no denying that Swift's name is perpetually in the headlines. Whether she's making waves with new music or embroiled in a personal scandal, the media (and fans) can't keep her name out of their mouths. These days, mentions, online conversations, fan pages and interviews all band together to form a very important currency that helps sell albums, lift music streams and bring hordes of people to packed-out stadium tours.

And you can bet Paine has been the driving force behind the very meticulously planned publicity strategy that continues to keep Swift front of mind and top of the charts.

Taylor Swift during her Eras Tour at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Image: Getty.


Paine has been incredibly tactical about how and when she puts out fires when they pop up. In fact, she single-handedly guided Swift through the Kanye West and Kim Kardashian feud by staying mum when needed and coming out to bat for her client when allegations arose.

Case in point: when Kardashian accused Paine of lying on behalf of Swift in regards to the approval of lyrics in West's song 'Famous'.

"UNEDITED original statement," the publicist wrote on X (formerly Twitter). "Kanye did not call for approval, but to ask Taylor to release his single 'Famous' on her Twitter account. She declined and cautioned him about releasing a song with such a strong misogynistic message. Taylor was never made aware of the actual lyric, 'I made that bitch famous.'"

In 2023, gossip account Deuxmoi reported that Swift had married her then-long-term partner (now ex) Joe Alwyn, a year before they broke up. Paine was quick to kibosh those claims and came forward publically rinsing Deuxmoi for running a fabricated story.

"Enough is enough with these fabricated lies about Taylor from Deuxmoi. There was NEVER a marriage or ceremony of ANY kind," she wrote on X. "This is an insane thing to post. It's time for you to be held accountable for the pain and trauma you cause with posts like these."

Watch: Taylor Swift Slams Scooter Braun. Story continues below.


Video via Mamamia.

In addition to putting out fires, Paine works incredibly hard to steer her client's career in a forward direction. She helped push a redemption narrative during the reclaiming of Swift's masters, she worked behind the scenes to make sure the Eras tour was one of the biggest the world has ever seen, and now with the release of TTPD, it has been Paine's handy work behind the scenes that has helped make it such a success.

Many of Swift's fans understand the huge part Paine has played in their favourite muso's success, too. 

Swifties are undoubtedly one of the most loyal (and vocal) fan bases around. They worship at the altar of Swift and will devoutly follow her career forevermore. And caught up in that vortex of uber-dedicated fandom are a subsection of Swifties who have become fans of Paine by extension.


What price do you put on Paine Perfection?

There are many parts that feed into the behind-the-scenes success of Swift, with the strategy largely put in place by Paine and a few other key players. So what kind of price do you put on such an integral member of your team? 

Taylor Swift during the Australian leg of her Eras Tour. Image: Getty.


Of course we don't have the hard figures on Paine's salary, but we can make some educated guesses based on percentages publicists usually take from their clients' profits. Given Swift has officially become a billionaire, it wouldn't be outrageous to suggest that Paine herself is taking home an annual pay packet in the millions.

If the devil works hard and Tree Paine works harder, it looks like she is being compensated devilishly well for her efforts.

Feature Image: Getty/Canva.

Are you a new or expecting mum? We want to hear from you! Share your thoughts in the below survey. PLUS as a token of our appreciation…you’ll go in the running to win a $50 gift voucher!