Taylor Swift’s Hits Medley at American Music Awards Looks Back at Her Loaded Career
After much speculation and back and forth, Taylor Swift took the stage at the 2019 American Music Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday night (Nov. 24) to perform a medley of her hits that stunned the crowd.
Swift first appeared in a black-and-white jacket emblazoned with "Speak Now" across the front, while "Fearless" ran across the back. Notably, the names of her BMLG records were written in the same font as the Dixie Chicks used on their now-famous Entertainment Weekly cover from 2003.
She began her performance with "The Man," in what was almost certainly a slap at some recent public turbulence between her and her old label, Big Machine.
That outfit tore away to reveal a sexy, sparkly gold leotard underneath. Accompanied by a cast of dancers, Swift proceeded to run through "Love Story," "I Knew You Were Trouble," "Blank Space" and "Shake It Off" before another outfit change that found her seated at a jewel-encrusted piano with a long pink cape, delivering an impassioned rendition of "Lover," the title song of her current album. The camera found her mother and father in the audience more than once, beaming with pride.
The performance took place against the backdrop of an extremely contentious few weeks between Swift and her former record label, Big Machine Label Group. There's been bad blood there since she left BMLG and signed a new deal with Republic in November of 2018. Swift has denounced former BMLG head Scott Borchetta's subsequent decision to sell BMLG to music mogul Scooter Braun, who is her longtime adversary.
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On Nov. 14, she turned to social media to ask her fans to pressure Borchetta, Braun and the Carlyle Group, which helped finance Braun's acquisition of BMLG, after she said the label had denied her the right to perform her past hits on the broadcast, during which she received the Artist of the Decade award.
They denied Swift's claim, and on Nov. 18, BMLG granted specific permission for her AMAs performance. It was unclear until Sunday night whether she would actually incorporate the older songs BMLG still controls into her performance, but she took the opportunity to make those old songs say something new in the moment.
See Pictures From Taylor Swift's 2019 American Music Awards Hits Medley: