Taylor Swift performed a medley of her past hits at the American Music Awards, after saying on social media earlier this month that her old label, Big Machine Records, prevented her from playing her old songs.
Big Machine refuted Swift’s claims, and eventually reached an agreement with dick clark productions, the producer of the AMAs, to approve Swift’s performance for Sunday’s show.
And perform she did. Taking the stage in a white button-up with the names of her early albums written on it, she sang “The Man” surrounded by young girls. “‘Cause if I was a man, then I’d be the man,” the pop star belted, seemingly a message to Scooter Braun, the manager who bought Big Machine Records and controls the rights to her early catalog.
She tore away the shirt to reveal a glimmering, golden bodysuit before descending into her greatest hits: “Love Story,” “Trouble,” “Blank Space” and “Shake It Off” (with Camila Cabello and Halsey).
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Swift then took to the piano to perform her latest hit, “Lover.”
Afterward, she accepted the Artist of the Decade Award from songwriter Carole King, one of her idols.
“All any of the artists want is to create something that will last, whatever it is in life,” Swift said. “The fact that this is an award that celebrates a decade of hard work, and of art and of fun and of memories.”
Addressing the recent controversy in her acceptance speech, Swift continued. “All that matters to me is the memories that I’ve had with you guys, with you the fans over the years…thank you for being the reason why I am on the stage from the very first day of my career until tonight. I’m so lucky I get to do this.”
Later in the evening, upon winning the Artist of the Year award, Swift added, “The last year of my life has had the most amazing times and some of the hardest things in my life that I’ve gone through. This year for me has been a lot. A lot of good. A lot of really complicated. On behalf of my family and me, thank you so much for being there and for caring.”
With her wins Sunday evening, Swift became the most-awarded artist in AMAs history, surpassing Michael Jackson.
The American Music Awards, the world’s largest fan-voted award show, features performances from today’s hottest artists and presents fan-voted awards in the music genres of Pop/Rock, Alternative Rock, Country, Rap/Hip-Hop, Soul/R&B, Adult Contemporary, Contemporary Inspirational, Latin, EDM and Soundtrack, and the categories of Artist of the Year, New Artist of the Year, Collaboration of the Year, Tour of The Year, Favorite Social Artist and Favorite Music Video. The show is produced by dick clark productions.