Taylor Swift Crowned Artist of the Decade at the 2019 American Music Awards
Taylor Swift was crowned the American Music Awards Artist of the Decade for the 2010s on Saturday night (Nov. 24), during the 2019 AMAs ceremony. The country-turned-pop megastar performed a medley of her biggest hits in celebration of the honor.
"Over the years, I've known some great songwriters, and I've also known some great singers and some great performers. It's rare to see all those talents in one person," songwriting legend Carole King said from stage as she opened Swift's AMA Artist of the Decade segment, "but that defines Taylor Swift." A video retrospective summarized the star's achievements before she took the stage.
Swift's medley opened with a few bars of her Lover track "The Man," for which she dressed in a man's dress shirt, emblazoned with her first six albums' titles in black block letters, and surrounded by a troupe of young girls. The star ran through "Love Story," "I Knew You Were Trouble" and "Blank Space," dressed in a gold bodysuit, before pop stars Halsey and Camila Cabello joined her for "Shake It Off." Cameras showed her parents, Scott and Andrea Swift, beaming with pride and grooving along to their daughter's performance; at the end, they caught Andrea Swift wiping away tears.
Swift concluded her medley with a performance of her song "Lover," the title track of her newest studio album, her first with Universal Music Group. Swift accompanied herself on the piano, draped in a gold and pink cape, while a pair of dancers -- Misty Copeland and Craig Hall -- performed nearby. She was greeted with a lengthy round of applause and chants of "Taylor! Taylor! Taylor!" at the end.
Swift's Artist of the Decade acceptance speech focused on her desire to "create something that will last, whatever it is in life." Addressing King, she shared that it was King and her albums who taught her that artists could transcend single moments in fans' lives.
"The fact that this is an award that celebrates a decade of art, and of hard work, and 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 concluded. "May it continue."
Swift's 2019 American Music Awards performance was a headline-grabbing moment before she even took the stage on Sunday night. The star and her feud with Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta -- the new owner and founder, respectively, of her former record label, Big Machine Label Group -- took a new turn in the days leading up to the awards show, when Swift claimed that BMLG was refusing to let her include her old music in the medley. The sides publicly traded words before the record label issued a statement confirming that Swift would be allowed to sing whatever she wanted at the event.
LOOK: See Taylor Swift on the 2019 American Music Awards Red Carpet