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Taylor Swift Opens the 2019 VMAs With “Lover” and “You Need to Calm Down”

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - AUGUST 26: Taylor Swift performs onstage during the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards at Prudential Center on August 26, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

Taylor Swift opened the 2019 MTV VMAs on August 26 with a performance of “Lover” and “You Need to Calm Down,” both off her recent album Lover.

RELATED: VMAs 2019: The Complete List of Nominees and Winners

Swift is up for 10 awards, tying Ariana Grande for the most total nominations. The video for “You Need to Calm Down”—which featured celebs including RuPaul, Laverne Cox, Adam Rippon, and the cast of Queer Eyeis up for Video of the Year, Best Pop Video, Best Direction, Best Editing, Best Art Direction, and Video for Good (one of this year’s two new categories). The song itself is nominated for Song of the Year, and for two fan-voted awards: Song of Summer and Best Power Anthem. The video for “ME!” (ft. Brendon Urie) is up for Best Collaboration, Best Visual Effects, and Best Cinematography.

Swift was nominated for just three awards at the 2018 VMAs, all for the “Look What You Made Me Dovideo, and was shut out. This year also marks a decade since Kanye West interrupted Swift’s acceptance speech for Best Female Video, which she won over Beyoncé.

Revisit our recent essay “Taylor Swift Won’t Let Go of Pop’s Big Machine,” and find a clip of Swift’s performance above.