Taylor Swift took the stage at the Academy of Country Music Awards in Nashville, Tennessee, on Wednesday night to perform at the event for the first time in years.
Swift sang “Betty,” a song off her eighth studio album, “Folklore,” which she released July 24.
The entire album is more subdued than her previous work — with many in the industry calling it “indie,” in a nontraditional sense. The National’s Aaron Dessner co-wrote or co-produced 11 of the songs, while Bon Iver and Jack Antonoff also collaborated.
Swift has said each song on the album was inspired by certain imagery that she then wrote a story around.
“A tale that becomes folklore is one that is passed down and whispered around. Sometimes even sung about” she said in July. “The lines between fantasy and reality blur and the boundaries between truth and fiction become almost indiscernible.”
“Betty” tells the story of James, a high school student who left a dance because they saw their crush dancing with someone else and then spent the summer with another girl. It ends with James coming to a party at Betty’s house after they “dreamt of her all summer long.”
Upon the song's release, fans were convinced Swift revealed the name of Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds' third child with the song's title. It turns out ... they were right.
On Wednesday, Swift's subdued outfit matched the tone of her album and performance; the "Folklore" singer wore a shiny dark bronze turtleneck and cargo pants to Wednesday's event. People magazine is also reporting that she did her own hair, makeup and styling for the big night.
This was the first performance for Swift at the ACMs in seven years. Her most recent performance was in 2013 when she sang an orchestral arrangement of her hit song “Red.”
The Academy of Country Music Awards kicked off Wednesday night from three different locations in Nashville. The show broadcast from the historic Grand Ole Opry, Ryman Auditorium and the Bluebird Café.
CORRECTION (Sept. 17, 12:13 a.m.): An earlier version of this story misstated the name of the award show. It is the Academy of Country Music Awards, not the American Country Music Awards.