American Music Awards 2019: Taylor Swift wins artiste of the decade
Taylor Swift reflected on a year of highs and lows as she was named both artist of the year and artist of the decade at the American Music Awards.
The pop superstar won six awards at this year’s AMAs, taking her all-time total to 29, organisers said, surpassing Michael Jackson’s record of 24.
The artiste of the decade honour was announced well before Sunday night’s ceremony, but Swift also scooped the biggest prize of the night, artist of the year, from Drake, Ariana Grande, Halsey and Post Malone.
Accepting the award for the latter, an emotional Swift told the crowd gathered at Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theater that the previous 12 months had given her “some of the most amazing times” as well as “the hardest things I’ve gone through in my life”.
Swift, 29, has been embroiled in a high-profile feud with prominent talent manager Scooter Braun and her former record label over the rights to her back catalogue of six albums – a dispute that briefly put her performance at the AMAs under a cloud.
Swift publicly accused Braun last week of refusing permission for her to sing songs from her back catalogue at the awards show, urging her 122 million Instagram fans to let Braun “know how you feel about this”.
The public spat culminated last week with Braun saying that his family had received “numerous death threats” and that he “would like to find a resolution”.
Swift did not directly reference her dispute with Braun on Sunday night, but she did say that “this industry is really weird” before thanking her fans, adding: “This year for me has been a lot. It’s been a lot of good, it’s been a lot of really complicated.”
Before she accepted the prize for artist of the year, Swift followed a video retrospective of her career to date with the performance of a medley of some of her biggest hits, opening with a brief portion of her song The Man, which debates how much more successful she would be if she were a male.
She performed in a white button-down jacket featuring the titles of her earlier albums, including Speak Now, Red and Fearless, and on a piano that was also inscribed with the titles of these albums, which some fans interpreted as a coded message about the feud with Braun.
During her acceptance speech, Swift said the honour celebrated 10 years of “hard work and of art and of fun and memories”.
She added: “All that matters to me is the memories I have had with you guys, with you the fans, over the years.”
Earlier, Swift won favourite pop/rock album for her latest album Lover. Her wins make her the most successful AMAs artist ever, dethroning Michael Jackson.