Taylor Swift surprise-released her eighth album folklore on July 24

By Karen Mizoguchi
September 13, 2020 02:00 PM
Advertisement
Taylor Swift
Beth Garrabrant

Taylor Swift will be returning to her country roots!

The singer, 30, is set to sing "betty" during the Academy of Country Music Awards on Wednesday, marking the first performance of the song since she surprise-released her eighth album folklore on July 24.

In August, the two-time ACM entertainer of the year winner introduced "betty" on country radio and shared the meaning behind her single, which revealed the name of Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds' third daughter Betty, who was born in October 2019.

"[James] has lost the love of his life basically and doesn't understand how to get it back. I think we all have these situations in our lives where we learn to really, really give a heartfelt apology for the first time," Swift explained. "Everybody makes mistakes, everybody really messes up sometimes and this is a song that I wrote from the perspective of a 17-year-old boy. I've always loved that in music you can kinda slip into different identities and you can sing from other people's perspectives. So that's what I did on this one."

The last time Swift made an appearance at the ACM Awards was in 2015. She previously made her awards show debut at the ACMs in 2007 when she performed her first hit "Tim McGraw."

In April 2015, the star received the show's Milestone Award, which was given to seven artists (Garth Brooks, George Strait, Reba McEntire, Brooks & Dunn, Miranda Lambert, and Kenny Chesney) who made a major impact in country music.

The honor, which was presented by her mother Andrea, came less than a year after she announced in August 2014 that she would be moving away from the genre for pop music as she made the transition with the release of her 1989 album that October.

"Somebody once told me that you truly see who a person is when you tell them something they don’t want to hear," she said in her Milestone Award acceptance speech. "And so to the country music community, when I told you that I had made a pop album and that I wanted to go explore other genres, you showed me who you are with the grace you accepted that with. I will never forget it."

Swift added, "I'm so happy, so happy I learned to write songs in a town like Nashville. I'm so grateful that I learned what hard work is from my heroes who are all sitting here. And I'm so unbelievably proud that I learned to treat people with kindness and respect from country music. I love you so much."

Fast forward to the present, Swift has made another shift in genres. Folklore, which she co-produced with Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner of The Nationals, is her first album to be classified in the alternative genre.

In addition, she topped the charts when folklore debuted at No. 1 in the alternative albums category. The lead single "cardigan" also climbed the top alternative songs chart.