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Clad in a black body suit, Swift stood elevated above a number of male backup dancers lying on the ground in a pile in front of her. She began the performance by showing off her vocal range as she sang a slowed-down intro of the song.
The performance quickly picked up its tempo as female and male backup dancers, who were also in all dressed in black ensembles, joined the singer. Swift and the dancers stood in a line as she sang the line, “If a man talks shit / Then I owe him nothing,” which was noticeably muted out by the network.
The heavily choreographed performance showed off both Swift’s dance moves and vocal range. As she sang the line, “They’re burning all the witches / Even if you aren’t one / It’s just for fun,” she pointed to herself, who has had her fair share of public drama and criticism in the past.
A memorable part of the performance took place as Swift was lifted up by her backup dancers. A snake, which has become her trademark since releasing the Reputation album in 2017, rose from back of the stage as she repeatedly sang the line, “Light me up.”
A number of audience members gave Swift a standing ovation following the number.
The performance, which came just days after the American leg of the Reputation stadium tour concluded, marked Swift’s first awards show performance in three years.
In addition to performing, Swift is nominated for artist of the year, pop/rock female artist, pop/rock female album and tour of the year at the awards show. The country-turned-pop star has won a total of 19 honors at the AMAs in the past. If Swift wins three awards during the night, she will become the most decorated woman in the history of the AMAs. Early in the night, Swift took home the award for tour of the year. She later won the favorite pop/rock female album and artist of the year categories.
Swift recently made headlines following an Instagram post in which she voiced support for Democrat candidate Phil Bredesen, who is running for U.S. Senate in Tennessee. The once apolitical performer condemned Republican nominee Marsha Blackburn for her voting record in Congress.
Tracee Ellis Ross served as the host of the 2018 AMAs. The fan-voted awards show aired live on ABC from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
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