While accepting artist of the year at the 2020 AMAs, Taylor Swift said she "can't wait" for fans to hear the re-recordings of her old albums

By Brianne Tracy
Updated November 22, 2020 11:30 PM
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Taylor Swift won big at the 2020 American Music Awards.

At the annual awards show on Sunday night, the star, 30, was presented the night's highest honor, artist of the year, by host Taraji P. Henson. While accepting the award from the studio where she is re-recording her first five albums, which Scooter Braun gained ownership of last year following his $300 million deal with Big Machine Label Group and then sold last week, she said, "Oh hey guys, thank you so much for this!"

"This is a fan-voted award, which means so much to me," Swift continued. "You guys have been beyond wonderful all the years of my career but especially this one when we've been so far apart, and we haven't been able to see each other in concert. I still feel really connected to you through the music. Your reaction to folklore and all the ways in which your imagination honored that album ... I just love you so much. I'm really, really lucky because of you."

Taylor Swift
| Credit: abc

Swift — who released her eighth studio album, Folklore, in July — then went on to explain that the reason she couldn't be at the show in person was that she is "re-recording all of my old music in the studio where I originally recorded it."

"It's been amazing, and I can't wait for you to hear it," she concluded. "Have a great night. I love you so much. Thank you, thank you, thank you!"

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Swift confirmed in August 2019 that she planned on re-recording her first five albums — Taylor Swift, Fearless, Speak Now, Red and 1989 — once legally allowed to do so on Nov. 1, 2020.

"It's something that I'm very excited about doing, because my contract says that starting November 2020, I can record albums one through five all over again. I'm very excited about it," she told Good Morning America's Robin Roberts.

"I think that artists deserve to own their work," she added. "I just feel very passionately about that."

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

Shortly after news broke that Braun, 39, had sold the master rights to her albums last week, Swift shared a statement on Twitter explaining that she had attempted over the past year to "enter into negotiations" with Braun to buy her work back, but she would have been required to sign an "ironclad NDA" stating she would only speak positively about the entrepreneur before being allowed to look at Big Machine's financial records.

"So, I would have had to sign a document that would silence me forever before I could even have a chance to bid on my own work," Swift said — something she added her legal team said was "absolutely NOT normal."

The singer said that Braun "would never even quote my team a price. These master recordings were not for sale to me."

Swift said that a private equity company called Shamrock Holdings was the one to purchase her masters from Braun — but that Ithaca Holdings would still profit off her old music for "many years," something the singer called "a non-starter for me."

Shamrock Holdings reached out to Swift last month following the sale with hopes of working together, but the "Lover" singer said in a letter back that she "simply cannot in good conscience bring myself to be involved in benefitting Scooter Braun's interests directly or indirectly."

"As a result, I cannot currently entertain being partners with you," Swift wrote in her letter to the company, dated Oct. 28. "It's a shame to know that I will now be unable to help grow the future of these past works and it pains me very deeply to remain separated from the music I spent over a decade creating, but this is a sacrifice I will have to make to keep Scooter Braun out of my life."

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

Braun did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

In her statement, Swift said that the re-recording process "has already proven to be both exciting and creatively fulfilling." She also promised that there are "plenty of surprises in store" for fans.

Under her new label Republic Records, which she signed with in November 2018, Swift released Folklore and its predecessor Lover.

At the American Music Awards, Swift was also nominated for favorite music video for her Folklore song "Cardigan" and for favorite female pop/rock artist and won both.

The American Music Awards were broadcast live from The Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles from 8-11 p.m. on ABC.