After a self-proclaimed year of challenges, Taylor Swift was greatly rewarded by voters for the American Music Awards when she took home the biggest trophies of the night, including Artist of the Year and Artist of the Decade. She also became the most awarded artist in the 46-year history of the AMAs, surpassing Artist of the Century winner Michael Jackson.
Film and television actress Regina King presented Taylor with the trophy for Artist of the Year after she had edged out Drake, Ariana Grande, Halsey and Post Malone in the category. After hugging her publicist and seeking out Post Malone for a hug, Taylor made the long walk to the stage.
She began by saying, “I really don’t have anything articulate to say. Just the fact that the last year of my life has had some of the most amazing times and also some of the just hardest things that 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. This industry is really weird where sometimes people who do what we do feel like, and I’m sure some of you feel like this too with your lives, you feel like your stock is up or down and people either like you or they don’t, or you’re feeling bad about yourself, but the people that hang in there for you are the ones that you will never forget.”
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Taylor went on to say, “This year for me has been a lot. It has been a lot of good. It’s been a lot of really complicated. So, on behalf of my family and me, thank you so much for being there and caring. I’m nominated against some absolutely iconic artists. This is crazy. Tonight was an amazing night full of some of the most unforgettable performances. This is such a great year in music and the new artists are insane. I’m lucky to be here every step of the way, I know that. Thank you so much.”
The country-turned-pop icon also received high honors as the Artist of the Decade, which was presented by fellow icon, Carole King. With her parents and peers from both pop and country on their feet, Taylor was humble.
After recognizing the performers that took the stage with her — Misty Copeland, Craig Hall, Camila Cabello, Halsey and an incredible troupe of dancers – Taylor spoke to Carole whose music has been a mainstay in her home as her parents were fans. “When they had my brother and I they played those records for us,” she said. “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 was a possibility.”
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She then turned her attention to the audience and said, “I guess what I’m trying to say is that 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 of memories. All that matters to me is all the memories that I’ve had with you guys, with you the fans over the years. Guys, we have 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.”
In addition to Artist of the Year and Artist of the Decade, Taylor also took home the win for Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist, Favorite Adult Contemporary Artist, Favorite Music Video (“You Need to Calm Down”) and Favorite Pop/Rock Album (Lover).