On Sunday, November 24, the “Lover” singer was presented the Artist of the Decade honor by Carole King at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles and she was overwhelmed with emotion as she accepted the award.
“You guys, first of all I want to say, that getting to share the stage with Misty Copeland and Craig Hall and Camila Cabello and Halsey, and all those amazing dancers tonight was absolutely, in so many ways, a dream come true,” Swift began her acceptance speech. “That performance was even more fun than I hoped it would be. Oh, my god.”
The “1989” singer gave fans a taste of some of her biggest hits in a killer mashup performance that included fan favorites “Love Story,” “I Knew You Were Trouble,” “Blank Space,” “Lover” and more before taking the stage to thank King, 77, for giving her the award and, of course, her fans.
“I cannot believe that it’s Carole King, it’s you, who gave me this award. My parents are here tonight and they would listen to Tapestry and all your other records in high school, and then they took those records with them, packed them up in boxes and took them to college with them, and then when they met they and they got their own house, they took those records with them there. Then, when they had my brother and I, they played those records for us,” she said as the camera panned to her mom, who cried during her daughter’s speech.
The country singer turned pop star continued saying, “I just remember, when I fell in love with music it was right around the time that I realized that how marvelous it was that an artist could transcend so many different phases and changes in people’s lives, so you taught me that’s a possibility.”
Before leaving the stage, Swift gave a major shout-out to her longtime fans saying, “I guess what I’m trying to say is that all any of the artists, or really anyone in this room, wants is to create something that will last. Whatever it is in life. The fact that this is an award that celebrates a decade of hard work and of art and of fun and of memories, all that matters to me is the memories that I’ve had with you guys, with you the fans over the years.”
She added: “Guys, we’ve had fun, incredible, exhilarating times together and may it continue. Thank you for being the reason why I am on this stage. From the very first day of my career until tonight, I love you with all of my heart, thank you for everything. Thank you, AMAs. Thank you. Just, thank you. I’m so lucky to get to do this. Thank you.”
Before Swift could catch her breath, she took home the award for Artist of the Year and again she couldn’t help but thank her dedicated fans.
“You’re so amazing. Wow, I really don’t have anything articulate to say. I just — just that [the] fact that the last year of my life has had some of the most amazing times and also some of just the hardest things I’ve gone through in my life,” she said. “Not a lot of them are things that haven’t been public, and I wanted to thank you so much for being the thing that has been a constant in my life.”
She continued saying, “This industry is really weird. Sometimes people who do what we do feel like, I’m sure some of you feel like this too, with your lives — like, you feel like your stock is up or down, or people like you or they don’t, or you’re feeling bad about yourself. But, the people that hang in there for you are the ones that you will never forget.”
Swift, now the winningest artist in AMAs history with 29 awards, finished her speech with a shout-out to everyone who has continuously believed in her.
“And the fans who have hung in there for 15 years of me doing this, like, I don’t even know what I’m saying,” she said. “This year for me, has been a lot. A lot of good, a lot of really complicated and so on behalf of, like, my family and me, thank you so much for being there and for caring.”
Ahead of this year’s AMAs, Swift was surrounded by drama after going up against Big Machine Records’ executives Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta, who she said were prohibiting her from playing any of her old music at the show. The “Our Song” singer added that the duo were allegedly banning her from using her old records in an upcoming Netflix documentary.
“[They] said that I’m not allowed to perform my old songs on television because they claim that would be re-recording my music before I’m allowed to next year,” she wrote on social media on November 14, referring to her plans to re-record her past hits and therefore own all of her catalog.
Swift went on to say, “I just want to be able to perform MY OWN music. That’s it. I’ve tried to work this out privately through my team but have not been able to resolve anything.”
A source close to the AMAs told Us Weekly that after Swift called the duo out, she decided to switch up her AMAs performance because Big Machine had “not waived the re-record restriction provision and they have claimed a re-broadcast would be a breach of her contract.” A second source said that when all is said and done, “her art is her life and she will continue to fight for it.”
At the 2019 Entertainment Industry Conference on November 21, Braun, 38, finally responded to Swift’s claims saying, “I just think we live in a time of toxic division, and of people thinking that social media is the appropriate place to air out on each other and not have conversations. I don’t like politicians doing it. I don’t like anybody doing it.”
He added: “If that means that I’ve got to be the bad guy longer, I’ll be the bad guy longer, but I’m not going to participate.”
The manager noted that he tried to have a private conversation with the artist to resolve their “miscommunications,” and later said, “We’re inciting all of this by continuing these arguments in public. We just need to go behind closed doors and see if we can have a conversation. And if we’re not having conversations, then I don’t think we’re going to find resolution.”
Big Machine previously released a statement in regards to the musician’s claims against them surrounding the AMAs that read in part, “Taylor, the narrative you have created does not exist. All we ask is to have a direct and honest conversation.” It continued, “To date, not one of the invitations to speak with us and work through this has been accepted.”
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