“This is a really special week,” Swift told Terrence J during the red carpet pre-show. “I’ve never really had an album come out the same week as I do this massive award show performance. I hope it’s great!”
Come show time, Swift — surrounded by Drag Race contestants, standing beneath a giant rainbow — kicked things off with a bit of “You Need to Calm Down” before transitioning into a lovely rendition of her new single “Lover.”
Swift entered Monday’s ceremony with a whopping 12 nominations, tying Ariana Grande for the most nods this year. “You Need to Calm Down” was nominated for Video of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Pop Video, Video for Good, Best Direction, Best Editing, Best Art Direction, Best Power Anthem and Song of the Summer. Meanwhile, “Me!” earned nods for Best Collaboration (with Panic! At the Disco’s Brendon Urie), Best Visual Effects and Best Cinematography. Both of those videos were from singles off Swift’s Lover album.
The country crossover queen has already taken home seven VMAs in her career, including Best Female Video for “You Belong With Me” (2009), Video of the Year for “Bad Blood” (2015) and Best Collaboration with Zayn for “I Don’t Want to Live Forever” (2017). She was also nominated for 13 others, including Best New Artist (2008).
Hit PLAY on the video above to watch footage of Swift’s VMAs performance, then grade it below and drop a comment with your full review.