We can’t calm down! Taylor Swift gave fans more than they could have asked for when she performed a medley of her greatest hits, both past and present, at the 2019 American Music Awards on Sunday, November 24.
Swift, 29, took the stage at Microsoft Theater to give her career-defying performance. She started off with her new song, “The Man,” wearing a white shirt with her albums’ names on it, including “Speak Now,” “1989” and “Fearless.” After a verse, she stripped off the shirt and revealed a gold, sparkly bodysuit. Next up, she sang “Love Story,” “I Knew You Were Trouble” and “Blank Space.”
She was then joined by Halsey and Camila Cabello for “Shake It Off,” before taking a seat at her piano for “Lover,” while Misty Copeland danced a ballet routine.
The Grammy winner’s road to her AMAs performance was no easy trek. Days ahead of her anticipated appearance, Swift shared an explosive Instagram Story post that accused Scooter Braun and Big Machine Records CEO Scott Borchetta of preventing her from performing any of her old material during the live broadcast.
“It’s been announced recently that the American Music Awards will be honoring me with the Artist of the Decade Award at this year’s ceremony. I’ve been planning to perform a medley of my hits throughout the decade on the show,” she wrote on November 14. “Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun have now said that I’m not allowed to perform my old songs on television because they claim that would be re-recording my music before I’m allowed to next year.”
She previously slammed Braun, 38, and Borchetta, 57, in a tell-all Tumblr post in June. She specifically stated that the famed music manager was a “manipulative bully,” and added that Braun’s purchase of her former label — the owner of her masters — was her “worst case scenario.”
In the wake of Swift’s November statement, a source told Us Weekly exclusively that the “Lover” singer “can 100 percent perform all of her catalog, past and present, at the AMAs,” despite what she alleged in her social media update. Big Machine also had “no issue with her performance going out on live broadcast because it recognizes it doesn’t have the right to block her,” the insider continued while adding that record labels aren’t allowed to “block” which songs artists perform live.
Erin M. Jacobson, a music industry lawyer, additionally told Us that the real conflict between Swift and Big Machine comes in regards to her desire to rerecord her old songs. “These new recordings will compete with the uses of the original recordings,” she explained on November 15. “This competition will make it harder for Scooter Braun and his affiliates to make back the financial investment to purchase these masters.”
Braun broke his silence on his continued Big Machine drama with Swift on Thursday, November 21. He said he wanted to have a sit-down conversation with Swift to discuss their “miscommunications” throughout the ordeal.
“I just think we live in a time of toxic division, and of people thinking that social media is the appropriate place to air out on each other and not have conversations. I don’t like politicians doing it. I don’t like anybody doing it,” he explained at the 2019 Entertainment Industry Conference. “If that means that I’ve got to be the bad guy longer, I’ll be the bad guy longer, but I’m not going to participate.”