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Was Nepotism at Play When Taylor Swift Won the Kennedy Award?

Taylor Swift
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

When you’re at the top, a lot of people want to knock you down. It’s a lesson Taylor Swift has been learning since she first hit it big, and now even her charity work is coming into question. When it was recently announced that she’ll be honored with the prestigious Kennedy Award, tongues began wagging: Is it because of her friendship with Patrick Schwarzenegger, son of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver?

As previously reported, Swift has been chummy with the Kennedys this year, first dining with them at the premiere of ‘Ethel‘ at the Sundance Film Festival, then writing a song about the family and finally by spending July 4 with Schwarzenegger on a yacht. It’s a little understandable that people would begin to raise their eyebrows at her receiving the family’s high-profile Ripples of Hope Award, which was previously granted to the likes of President Bill Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, George Clooney, Bono and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

However, a rep for the foundation told E! Online that they actually didn’t know Swift and Schwarzenegger were pals, and instead sang the singer’s praises for her generosity. “What strikes me most about Taylor is the work she does away from the spotlight — her leadership in the movement for arts education, her generosity to communities devastated by natural disaster and especially the compassion she’s shown as a proud defender against bullying and LGBTI discrimination,” the Kennedy Center President Kerry Kennedy said. “As my father Robert Kennedy said to the students of South Africa in 1966, our world’s hope rests with our youth.” We’re glad Swift has come out against LGBTI discrimination and grown up since her song ‘Picture to Burn’ originally included the lyrics “You won’t mind if I say / That you’re gay.

Kennedy added, “As a young person, Taylor has already accomplished so much, and I look forward to watching all that she will do to help build a brighter, more peaceful world for us all.”

The Ripples of Hope Award isn’t the only accolade Swift’s received for her charity work from a politically connected family. First Lady Michelle Obama presented the ‘Eyes Open’ songstress with the Big Help Award at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards this spring, and based on her list of philanthropic efforts, she sounds like she deserves everything coming to her.

C’mon, critics. Why you gotta be so mean?

Next: Vote for Taylor Swift as the Best Singer-Songwriter

Watch theTaylor Swift ‘Eyes Open’ Lyric Video

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