"It's been a lot of good, it's been a lot of really complicated, and so on behalf of my family and me — thank you so much for being there and for caring," Taylor Swift said on stage

By Tomás Mier
November 24, 2019 11:40 PM
Products in this story are independently selected and featured editorially. If you make a purchase using these links we may earn commission.

Taylor Swift just won another award at the 2019 AMAs!

Swift took home artist of the year Sunday night at the American Music Awards. This is the fifth time the “Lover” singer has accepted the coveted prize she won in 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2018.

While accepting the award, Swift acknowledged her bumpy 2019.

“I really don’t have anything articulate to say. Just the fact that the last year of my life has had some of the most amazing times, and also some of just the hardest things I’ve gone through in my life and not a lot of them are things that haven’t been public,” she said, referring to her mother’s battle with cancer. “This industry is really weird where like sometimes people who do what we do feel like, as I’m sure some of you feel like this too with your lives, like you feel like your stock is either up or down and people either like you or they don’t or you’re feeling bad about yourself.”

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift
| Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty

“I don’t know what I’m talking about other than the fact that this was just like this year for me has been a lot,” she later added. “It’s been a lot of good, it’s been a lot of really complicated, and so on behalf of my family and me — thank you so much for being there and for caring.”

Swift, 29, also praised Halsey, who joined her earlier that night to perform “Shake It Off” and seemingly took a jab at the Grammy Awards while accepting the award for favorite pop/rock song for “Without Me.”

Taylor Swift, Carole King
Taylor Swift and Carole King
| Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty

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

“I don’t even know what I’m saying because like literally speech of the whole night goes to Halsey,” she said about the “Graveyard” singer. “The winner of the whole evening for that speech.”

Swift was also honored with the artist of the decade award and won favorite pop/rock album for Lover. Swift broke the record for winning the most AMAs, beating out Michael Jackson when she was awarded favorite pop/rock album for Lover.

“Any of the artists, or really anyone in this room wants, is to create something that will last. Whatever it is in life. And the fact that this is an award that celebrates a decade of hard work and of art and of fun and memories, all that matters to me is the memories that I have had with you guys, with you the fans over the years,” she said while accepting the award from Carole King earlier that night.

Swift performed a medley of her songs that night. She started with the female-empowerment anthem “The Man” from her newest album Lover while sporting a white button-down shirt with the names of her past albums written across it.

The prison-like font of the titles — all of which are owned by her former label, Big Machine — led some fans to believe that the garment was a nod to her feud with Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta.

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift performing “The Man”
| Credit: Tommaso Boddi/WireImage

Swift’s performance came amid an ongoing public feud with her former label Big Machine Label Group and Braun, 38 (who acquired the label earlier this year).

The renewed feud comes after the singer shared a message on Tumblr accusing Braun and the CEO of BMLG, Borchetta, of blocking her from performing her pre-Lover hits (which were recorded while under contract with BMLG) at the AMAs.

The singer also revealed she has been working with Netflix on a documentary about her “life for the past few years,” but that Borchetta and Braun — who purchased BMLG for $300 million earlier this year — have “declined the use of my older music or performance footage for this project.”

According to Swift, Borchetta tried to negotiate and offered to let her perform and use her music if she agreed not to re-record “copycat versions” of her old songs and “stop talking about him and Scooter Braun.”

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift
| Credit: Steve Granitz/WireImage

Hours later, BMLG responded in a statement on their website and denied Swift’s allegations, accusing the star of “false information.”

“As Taylor Swift’s partner for over a decade, we were shocked to see her Tumblr statements yesterday based on false information. At no point did we say Taylor could not perform on the AMAs or block her Netflix special,” the statement read. “In fact, we do not have the right to keep her from performing live anywhere. Since Taylor’s decision to leave Big Machine last fall, we have continued to honor all of her requests to license her catalog to third parties as she promotes her current record in which we do not financially participate.”

A spokesperson for Swift responded with another statement, reiterating that “Scott Borchetta, CEO and founder of Big Machine Label Group, flatly denied the request for both American Music Awards and Netflix,” and alleged BMLG owes the singer “$7.9 million dollars of unpaid royalties over several years.”

Then on Monday, BMLG announced to PEOPLE in a statement that Swift was cleared to perform her early hits at the AMAs, saying, “Recording artists do not need label approval for live performances on television or any other live media. Record label approval is only needed for contracted artists’ audio and visual recordings and in determining how those works are distributed.”

The 2019 American Music Awards were broadcasting live on ABC from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday, Nov. 24 at 8:00 p.m. EST.