Taylor Swift Urges Fans to 'Get Out and Vote' While Accepting Artist of the Year at AMAs
Swift used her acceptance speech to again urge her fans to vote in the midterm elections days after breaking her political silence
Look what you made Taylor Swift do.
After opening up the American Music Awards with a fiery performance of her song “I Did Something Bad,” the Grammy winner picked up the biggest award of the night: artist of the year.
“I just wanna say to the fans … you have been so nice to me and fun, and you’re so funny and you’re so cool and so loyal,” said the superstar during her acceptance speech. “Every time that you have made me lucky enough to ever get to stand on a stage and have something really sparkly in my hands … it means something different.”
“This time, I just want you to know it means encouragement … for me to be better, work harder and to make you guys proud as much as I possibly can,” she continued. “This award and every single award given out tonight were voted on by the people, and you know what else is voted on by the people is the midterm elections on Nov. 6. Get out and vote. I love you guys!”
On Sunday, Swift broke her silence on politics to endorse two Democratic candidates running in Tennessee midterm elections.
“I’m writing this post about the upcoming midterm elections on November 6th, in which I’ll be voting in the state of Tennessee,” Swift began her lengthy message. “In the past I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now.”
Swift continued, “I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country. I believe in the fight for LGBTQ rights, and that any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is WRONG. I believe that the systemic racism we still see in this country towards people of color is terrifying, sickening and prevalent.”
After explaining why she was voting for Phil Bredesen instead of Rep. Marsha Blackburn for Senate, and for Jim Cooper for the House of Representatives, Swift gave her fans a call to action.
“So many intelligent, thoughtful, self-possessed people have turned 18 in the past two years and now have the right and privilege to make their vote count,” she said. “But first you need to register, which is quick and easy to do. October 9th is the LAST DAY to register to vote in the state of TN. Go to vote.org and you can find all the info. Happy Voting!”
Swift reportedly inspired a spike in voter registration after issuing her public political opinion. “We are up to 65,000 registrations in a single 24-hour period since T. Swift’s post,” Kamari Guthrie, Vote.org’s director of communications, told BuzzFeed News.
Swift, 28, was nominated for four of the top awards at the show, including: artist of the year, favorite pop/rock female artist, favorite pop/rock album (for Reputation) and favorite tour (for her smash Reputation Stadium Tour).
Check out PEOPLE’s full AMAs coverage to get the latest news on one of music’s biggest nights.
The star — who was dressed in head-to-toe Balmain — took home favorite pop/rock album and favorite tour along with artist of the year, breaking the record for most AMAs won by a female.
Swift’s attendance at the AMAs is a rare public outing for the private Grammy winner. Aside from a high-profile appearance at the Billboard Music Awards in May, she hadn’t attended an awards show since the 2016 Grammys, where she delivered her last televised award show performance (of 1989 favorite “Out of the Woods”).
Her AMAs return bookends a meteoric year for the singer, who — after a respite from the spotlight — released her smash Reputation album last November. And Swift hasn’t slowed down since: She just wrapped the North American leg of her wildly entertaining Reputation Stadium Tour on Saturday; next she’ll head to Perth on Oct. 16, then end the spectacle with a bang in Tokyo Nov. 21.
The 2018 American Music Awards are airing live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Oct. 9 at 8 p.m. ET.