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October 09, 2018 08:10 PM

Taylor Swift opened the 2018 American Music Awards — and it felt so good!

On Tuesday, the pop star hit the stage at the Microsoft Theater in L.A. to perform her scorched-earth Reputation track “I Did Something Bad.”

Wearing a black-and-red sequined bodysuit with thigh-high boots, the star — who kicked off the performance with a menacing chuckle — belted out a fiery rendition of the song with a slew of backup dancers behind her.

Smiling after she finished, Swift was given a standing ovation by pal Shawn Mendes, Jennifer Lopez, Zedd, Florida Georgia Line and more.

In addition to her performance, Swift, 28, is 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).

Taylor Swift
Steve Granitz/WireImage

Check out PEOPLE’s full AMAs coverage to get the latest news on one of music’s biggest nights.

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 gone to an awards show since the 2016 Grammys, where she delivered her last televised award show performance (of 1989 favorite “Out of the Woods”).

RELATED: Tim! Faith! Selena! All the Surprise Guests on Taylor Swift’s Reputation Stadium Tour

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.

Frederick M. Brown/Getty

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.”

Taylor Swift
Steve Granitz/WireImage

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.

The 2018 American Music Awards are airing live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Oct. 9 at 8 p.m. ET.

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