“I want to say that I am really, really lucky that I get to write songs with one of my best friends in the world. His name is Jack Antonoff. He is so talented — it is incomprehensible and I am so lucky. I have been making music with him since we worked on an album called 1989 and we will continue working together until 2089,” Swift, 33, said while accepting the Moonperson trophy on Tuesday, September 12, at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
The singer, who already nabbed the Pop Song of the Year award for “Anti-Hero” went on to thank her fans for connecting with her music.
“I am so, so happy because this is validating my favorite part of what I get to do,” she said. “I started writing songs when I was 12 and it always starts with a very isolated emotion, like a very specific type of insecurity or self-loathing that I felt like I am the only one who is feeling in that moment. Then, when I go out on tour and I have a stadium singing the songs back to me, it brings me to this very relaxing feeling that maybe we all have the same issues.”
The VMAs celebrated the biggest names in music with Miley Cyrus, Olivia Rodrigo, Swift, Steve Lacy and SZA all nominated for their recent releases. Rema received a nod for his collaboration on “Calm Down” with Selena Gomez while Sam Smith and Kim Petras got nominated for their hit song “Unholy.”
“Today is the day! My sophomore album, Guts, is out everywhere!!! I feel excited, nervous, proud, but mostly I feel so grateful. I feel grateful for everyone on my team who believes in me and supports me so unwaveringly. I feel so grateful for my collaborator Dan who pushes me and inspires me and without whom the album wouldn’t have been possible,” she wrote via Instagram on Friday, September 8. “And lastly, I feel so immensely grateful for everyone who has so generously supported me over the past few years. Thank you to everyone who has listened and streamed and been sooo kind. I owe so much to you guys and I really hope you dig these new songs. Lots and lots of love forever and ever!!”
Meanwhile, Swift is no stranger to scoring the Moonperson trophy. She’s nabbed 14 awards over the span of her career and surprised attendees last year when she announced her Midnights album while on stage at the VMAs.
“I’m just so proud of what we made. We wouldn’t have been able to make this short film if it weren’t for you, the fans. Because I wouldn’t be able to re-record my albums if it weren’t for you. You emboldened me to do that,” Swift said in October 2022 while accepting an award for her “All Too Well” short film. “I had sort of made up my mind that if you were gonna be this generous and give us this, I thought it might be a fun moment to tell you that my brand new album comes out October 21. I will tell you more at midnight.”
Fellow nominee Cyrus, 30, was in for a surprise when her track “Flowers” blew up on TikTok. The online success had everyone talking about the song — with many fans questioning if the lyrics were based on her split from ex-husband Liam Hemsworth.
“I wrote it in a really different way,” she told British Vogue in May 2023. “The chorus was originally: ‘I can buy myself flowers, write my name in the sand, but I can’t love me better than you can.’ It used to be more, like, 1950s. The saddest song. Like: ‘Sure, I can be my own lover, but you’re so much better.’”
Lacy, 25, who was nominated for “Bad Habit,” also discussed the seemingly overnight success of his viral track. “I love it. I want everybody to listen. It’s dope for everybody to interpret it in their own way,” he told W Magazine in October 2022. “Am I gonna spend my energy being mad about my song doing well on TikTok? No, I’m not. I’ll spend my energy being grateful and working on more stuff.”