Taylor Swift makes a powerful statement with AMAs performance, outfit

The pop star was honored as the artist of the decade at Sunday night’s American Music Awards.
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/ Source: TODAY

Superstar Taylor Swift can now add artist of the decade to her long résumé of accomplishments.

Swift took the stage Sunday night at the American Music Awards to perform a mashup of some of her top singles from the last decade while making a big statement about her music.

She started her set with "The Man," a song from her most recent album that features the lyrics, "I'm so sick of running as fast as I can/Wondering if I'd get there quicker if I was a man."

Swift wore a white jacket adorned with the names of her first six studio albums, which have been the focus of a recent feud between the 29-year-old star and the executives in control of those records.

On Nov. 14, Swift claimed Scott Borchetta, the chief executive of Swift's former label, Big Machine Records, and Scooter Braun, whose company, SB Projects, acquired Big Machine Label Group earlier this year, told her not to play her greatest hits at the awards show. (Swift signed a new record deal with Republic Records and Universal Music Group in 2018.) SB Projects later said the music is cleared for Swift to perform.

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During the performance, she was joined onstage by a group of dancing girls, all in coordinating outfits.

Swift then took a deep dive back through her archives, starting with "Love Story" and "I Knew You Were Trouble," and moved on to "Blank Space," from her 2014 album, "1989."

Camila Cabello and Halsey join Taylor Swift onstage during her performance at the AMAs on Sunday. JC Olivera / Getty Images

She also rocked out to "Shake It Off" from the same album, as dancers in silver, space age-style suits danced around her. Swift was joined onstage by Halsey and Camila Cabello.

She rounded out her performance at a pink grand piano that was also emblazoned with the titles of her previous records. Swift played her latest hit single, "Lover," as ballet stars Misty Copeland and Craig Hall danced.

Swift performs "Lover" at the AMAs.Kevin Winter / Getty Images for dcp

The performance was praised by her fans, including Carole King, who was presenting the artist of the decade award.

In her speech, Swift took a moment to recognize King.

"When I fell in love with music it was right around the time that I realized how marvelous it was that an artist could transcend so many different phases and changes in people's lives," she said. "So you taught me that's a possibility."

Swift went on to thank her fans for their support.

"All artists or anyone in this room wants to create is something that will last, whatever it is in life," she said. "And 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’ve had with you guys — with you, the fans — over the years.”

Swift also won artist of the year and favorite album pop/rock on Sunday night.

"The last year for me has been a lot," Swift said during her artist of the year speech. "It's been a lot of good, it's been a lot of really complicated ... thank you so much for being there and for caring."

She now holds the record for the most AMAs of any single artist, host Ciara announced before the end of the show.

Editor's Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated Swift performed her track "Fearless" during her medley at the AMAs. In fact, she sang "I Knew You Were Trouble."