Taylor Swift kicked off this year’s MTV VMAs with a bang, performing her singles “You Need to Calm Down” and “Lover” off her brand new album.
To start things off, Swift performed her single “You Need to Calm Down.” Todrick Hall, who collaborated with Swift for the song’s music video, and several drag queens and dancers danced on the candy-colored stage, which evoked the music video’s setting. According to Billboard, many of the performers from Swift’s set also joined Miley Cyrus on stage to close out the 2015 VMAs.
Afterward, Swift tamed it down to sing her latest single, the swoon-worthy tune “Lover,” accompanied only by her guitar. Throughout both songs, the audience, including stars such as Queen Latifah, Gigi Hadid, and Khalid could be seen dancing and singing along to the songs.
The set marked the first return to the VMAs stage for Swift since her 2015 performance of “Bad Blood.”
The singer, whose seventh studio album Lover released on Friday and is already the top-selling album of the year so far, went into the night tied with Ariana Grande for the most nominations, with 10 nods for her singles “ME!” and “You Need To Calm Down.”
And fun fact: 2019 ties Swift’s personal record for the most nominations she’s received in one year. In 2015, she also received 10 nominations, split between “Blank Space” and “Bad Blood.”
The 2019 MTV VMAs aired live from the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
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