by Anne DeLello ’20 A&E Staff
Over the past 10 years, 29-year-old singer-songwriter Taylor Swift has reached great heights, from five No. 1 hits on Billboard’s Top 100 List to 10 Grammy awards. Due to Swift’s number of achievements since her debut album in 2006, she was recently named Artist of the Decade at this year’s American Music Awards.
Not only did Swift win Artist of the Decade, but she received multiple awards, including Video of the Year and Pop/Rock Album of the Year for her most recent LP, Lover. On top of this, Swift also gave a standout, 11-minute performance at the show. This year’s wins at the AMA’s put Swift above Michael Jackson as the most awarded artist in the show’s history, with 29 awards in total.
Though the singer has had her fair share of public controversy, Swift’s strong fan base coupled with her award-winning music has allowed her to remain on top time and time again.
Before her performance on the AMAs stage, Swift faced conflict with Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun, who recently received copyright ownership over Swift’s older tracks, which she recorded under Big Machine Records. Due to this shift, the controversy concerned whether Swift would be able to perform these older hits at the AMAs.
Swift called in her fans via social media to help ensure that she would be able to sing her older songs during her performance. According to The Guardian, Swift urged “her 122 million Instagram fans to let Braun ‘know how you feel about this,’” Braun relented, and she was able to perform both her old and new hits.
Ultimately, Big Machine allowed Swift to perform these songs in a medley that left the audience stunned. She started off with a bang, performing her recent hit “The Man,” followed up with a medley of her older songs including “Love Story,” “I Knew You Were Trouble,” and “Blank Space.” Swift then finished with “Lover,” the title track on her most recent album.
After her performance, singer Carole King gave a tribute to Swift before officially presenting her with the Artist of the Decade award. The award-winning songwriter praised Swift, saying, “She is one of the only modern pop artists whose name appears as the sole songwriter in her song credits… The past decade has been incredible for this brilliant artist, and the best is yet to come.”
In Swift’s acceptance speech, she gave a nod to both the challenging and enjoyable parts of her career over the past 10 years. She also was sure to acknowledge her fans, saying, “The fact that this is an award that celebrates a decade of hard work and of art and of fun and memories, all that matters to me is the memories that I have had with you guys, with you, the fans over the years.”
She ended with a promising declaration of her appreciation for her record label, Universal Music Group and subsidiary label Republic Records, during her acceptance speech for Pop/Rock Album of the Year and left fans feeling very hopeful when she told everyone watching that, “This album felt like a new beginning.” Even after 10 years of success, this is not the end of the road for Taylor Swift, and there is sure to be more to come from the iconic artist in the next decade.