The AMAs pride themselves on being fan-voted awards, and as usual Swift was effusive in her thanks onstage. But she also posted messages to fans on her platform of choice, Tumblr. One shows her holding her trophies and is captioned, “Hi guys have I told you lately that I LOVE YOU,” while the other is a shot of her standing provocatively onstage during her performance at the show, with a caption that reads, “I was up there because of you and I know that every minute of every day.” She also reposted a celebratory fan post.
Swift’s appearance was preceded by a wave of controversy, after she said her former label, Big Machine Records, was attempting to block her from performing songs from her six albums with the company on the show. Ultimately she did without incident, although there were a couple of subtle digs at the company. She mentioned artists’ rights a couple of times during her speeches, and her performance opened with a brief portion of her new song “The Man” — the lyrics of which wonder how much more successful she might be if she were a man, and could be seen as referencing her frequent references to Big Machine’s Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta as “these men.” She wore a white jacket, with her album titles written on it in black stenciled letters, which dancers tore off, revealing her in a gold one-piece outfit, as if to signify a new start.
“All any of the artists in this room want is to create something that will last,” she said in an acceptance speech. “And all that matters to me is the memories that I have had with you, the fans, over the years, because we’ve had fun, incredible exhilarating times together. Thank you for being the reason I am on this stage.
“Sometimes people who do what we do… you feel like your stock is either up or down, but the people who hang in there for you are the ones you will never forget. And the fans who have hung in with me for 15 years doing this… I don’t even know what I’m saying, but the speech of the whole night goes to Halsey —” who made a subtle dig against the Grammys, who, like Swift, was seen by some to have been shortchanged on Grammy nominations and thanked the AMAs for being awards chosen by fans.
“This year has been a lot,” Swift concluded. “It’s been a lot of good and a lot of really complicated, so on behalf of my family and me, thank you so much for being there and for caring.”