November 02, 2016 11:27 PM

Taylor Swift has made her big return to the CMAs.

After crossing into the pop world with her record-breaking album 1989, the “Shake It Off” singer got back to her country roots Wednesday when she made a surprise appearance at the CMA Awards.

Wearing a sparkly, slinky dress, the singer, 26, presented the entertainer of the year award (which she’s won twice before) to Garth Brooks. “Hi Nashville. It’s been almost 13 years since I came to Nashville with a dream to be a songwriter and recording artist and I learned so much about what it means to be an entertainer from the remarkable artists in this arena tonight,” she said onstage.

Swift first attended the awards show as a teen in 2007 and picked up the new artist award shortly after she released her self-titled debut album.

On Tuesday, Little Big Town — who performed at the show — revealed Swift wrote their new song “Better Man.”

“Bless her heart. She’s gonna make it some day,” Kimberly Schlapman joked to PEOPLE on the CMA Awards red carpet. Added Karen Fairchild: “She never pitches her songs. She brought us on the road last summer for the 1989 tour and we did ‘Pontoon’ together and we’ve just been keeping in touch. I guess she loved the song so much and thought of the harmonies and sent it to us.”

People Special Edition 50 years of the CMA Awards - Cover
  • PEOPLE’s Special Edition 50 Years of the CMA Awards is on sale now online and on newsstands.

Swift later confirmed the news with an Instagram post. “Feeling honored that a band I’ve loved for so many years decided to record this song I wrote. Good luck at #cmaawards @littlebigtown !! Love you guys,” she captioned a photo of the band.

You May Like