Taylor Swift Transforms Grammys 2021 Stage into a Folklore Utopia as She Performs a Medley
Swift hit the stage with Jack Antonoff and The National's Aaron Dessner to perform "Cardigan," "August" and "Willow"
Alongside her album collaborators Aaron Dessner and Jack Antonoff, Swift — who received six nominations this year — hit the stage to perform a medley of "Cardigan," "August" and "Willow" from both Folklore and Evermore during the 2021 Grammy Awards.
Wearing a metallic blue and silver Etro dress and Cathy Waterman hairpiece, Swift started her performance with "Cardigan" as she sang into the camera while laying on a grassy structure and set resembling Folklore cover's album art.
Then, Swift joined Dessner and Antonoff — as all three played guitar — in a cabin-like structure to perform "August." The trio transitioned into Evermore's "Willow," as Swift danced to her set's final song.
The performance marked the 31-year-old's seventh time performing at the Grammys — and her first in five years.
Ahead of her performance, the "Cardigan" singer shared a photo with Antonoff, Dessner, Laura Sisk and Jonathan Low — who all worked on the Grammy-nominated album — on her Instagram Story.
"folklorian family photo," Swift captioned the shot.
She also revealed that she'd be performing with her Folklore collaborators in a video on the Grammys Instagram.
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"One thing I can tell you about my Grammy performance that isn't highly confidential is that my performance includes my collaborators Aaron Dessner and Jack Antonoff," she said. "Which is really exciting, because this has been an adventure that the three of us have gone on since the very beginning of quarantine and lockdown."
"We've only gotten to be together in the same room once, so this is really awesome to get to be together with them again," Swift continued. "We're quarantining in the same house for the whole week. We're tested every day, so it's just really exciting, honestly, to play music with your collaborators. That's something that I will never, ever take for granted again."
Among the singer's six nominations, Swift's folklore got nominated for best pop vocal album and lead single "Cardigan" was also recognized in the song of the year and best pop solo performance categories.
Looking back at the two albums she created during the pandemic (folklore's sister record, evermore, was released in December), Swift recently told PEOPLE that she's learned how much can be accomplished even without fanfare.
"I think one of the revelations from this time that I'll take with me moving forward is that oftentimes less is more," she said. "An album photo shoot can really be as simple as walking out into a field with one photographer at your friends' farm and you can do your own hair and makeup for it."
"You can write songs without traveling or being in the same space as another collaborator. You can tell your fans about what you made without going on an international promo tour," she added. "These things are options I didn't explore before and I'm glad that I know they exist now."
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Like many socially-distanced awards shows that have already taken place, this year's Grammy nominees will be coming together while staying safely apart to celebrate music's biggest night amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Throughout the 2021 show, several music venues across the country, which have been greatly impacted by the pandemic, will be honored as bartenders, box office managers and other day-to-day employees will serve as presenters for various awards categories. Among the venues that will be featured are the Troubadour and The Hotel Café in Los Angeles, the Apollo Theater in New York City, and The Station Inn in Nashville.
The Grammy Awards, hosted by Trevor Noah, are airing Sunday, March 14, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on CBS Television Network and Paramount+.