"Anti-Hero" is a song by the American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift and the lead single from her tenth studio album, Midnights (2022). Written and produced by Swift and Jack Antonoff, "Anti-Hero" is a pop rock and synth-pop song driven by looped drums and retro synthesizers. The lyrics discuss self-loathing, depression and anxiety, inspired by Swift's nightmares and issues with depersonalization and self-hatred, critiquing the societal pressures and her shortcomings. Republic Records made the single available for download on October 21, and released it to US radio on October 24, 2022.
A music video for the song, written and directed by Swift, premiered on October 21 as well. It depicts Swift's fears, insecurities, and eating disorder, using three different incarnations of her. The video also reenacts one of her nightmares about her legacy and last will, starring Mike Birbiglia, John Early, and Mary Elizabeth Ellis as Swift's fictional sons and daughter-in-law, respectively.
The single was a commercial success, breaking the global and US records for the most opening-day Spotify streams. It peaked atop the Billboard Global 200 and reached the top 10 of charts in various countries across Europe, North America, and Asia-Pacific. "Anti-Hero" is Swift's longest-running number-one song in the UK and the US; in the latter, it marked Swift's ninth chart topper on the Billboard Hot 100, made her the first soloist in history to debut five songs atop the chart, and was the best-selling song of 2022. The song is also her longest-charting song in the U.S. to date, spending 53 weeks on the Hot 100. It also made Swift the first artist to top the Billboard Radio Songs chart in the 2000s, 2010s, and 2020s decades.
Music critics praised "Anti-Hero" for its direct lyricism, catchy rhythm, synth-based instrumentation, and vocal tones. Some publications also dubbed it the best lead single of Swift's career, while year-end rankings named it one of the best songs of 2022. The song has received various accolades, including a People's Choice Award, two iHeartRadio Music Awards, and six MTV Video Music Awards, including Video of the Year, making Swift the first artist to win the award two years in a row. It is nominated for Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance at the upcoming 66th Annual Grammy Awards. File Hashes