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Taylor Swift just gave one of the biggest speeches of her career at the American Music Awards while accepting the Artist of the Decade award. Swift chose not to call out the public drama going on between her and Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta, the two men who own the masters to her first six albums, during it.
She did make a visual nod to the album ownership issue at the beginning of her medley performance. But her speech was dedicated to her fans. Swift opened by praising Carole King, who presented the award to her, for her role in music and her family’s life. Then she turned her attention to her Swifties and their journey together.
“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 have had with you guys, with you the fans, over the years,” she said to them.
Here, her full remarks:
“First of all, I want to say that getting to share the stage with Misty Copeland and Craig Hall and Camila Cabello and Halsey and all those amazing dancers tonight was absolutely, in so many ways, a dream come true, and so I just, that performance was even more fun than I hoped it would be. I cannot believe that it’s Carole King, it’s you, who gave me this award. My parents are here tonight, and they would listen to ‘Tapestry’ and all your other records in high school and then they took those records with them, packed them up in boxes and took them to college with them. Then when they met and they got their own house, they took those records with them there. And then when they had my brother and I, they played those records for us. And I just remember, when I fell in love with music it was right around the time I realized how marvelous it was that an artist could transcend so many different phases and changes in people’s lives. So, you taught me that that’s a possibility. I guess what I’m trying to say is all any of the artists, or really anyone in this room, wants is to create something that will last, whatever it is in life. 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 have had with you guys, with you the fans, over the years. Guys, we’ve had fun, incredible, exhilarating, extraordinary times together, and may it continue. Thank you for being the reason why I am on this stage, from the very first day of my career until tonight. I love you with all of my heart. Thank you for everything. Thank you AMAs. Thank you, just thank you, I’m so lucky to get to do this.”
Later in the night, Swift won Artist of the Year. She gave a final, personal speech that touched on how great and hard the last year has been. She said:
I really don’t have anything articulate to say. I just—just the fact that the last year of my life has had some of the most amazing times and also some of the just like hardest things I’ve gone through in my life. And not—a lot of them are things that haven’t been public, and I wanted to thank you so much for being the thing that has been a constant in my life. Like, this industry is really weird where sometimes people who do what we do feel like—and I’m sure as some of you feel like this too with your lives, like you feel like your stock is either up or down and people either like you or they don’t or you’re feeling bad about yourself but the people who hang in there for you are the ones that you will never forget. And the fans who have hung in there for 15 years of me doing this. Ok, like I don’t even know what I’m saying because like literally the speech of the whole night goes to Halsey, winner of the whole evening for that speech. I don’t know what I’m talking about other than the fact that this year for me has been a lot. It’s been a lot of good. It’s been a lot of really complicated and so on behalf of my family and me, thank you so much for being there and for caring. I’m nominated against some absolutely iconic artists. This is crazy. Tonight was an amazing night full of the most unforgettable performances. This is such a great year in music. The new artists are insane. I’m lucky to be here. I know that every step of the way. Thank you so much.