Taylor Swift Becomes First Solo Female Artist to Win the MTV 2020 VMAs Best Director Award
Taylor Swift is winning big.
The star, 30, won her first best director award at the 2020 VMAs on Sunday for her music video for "The Man," making her the first solo female artist to earn the honor.
"This is amazing," Swift said while accepting the award. "This is the very first video that I've ever directed on my own. I'm just so grateful for this. I want to take an opportunity to say thank you to the team who believed in me as a first-time director and made this video with me."
"I was told that this was an industry-voted award," she continued. "So I want to say thank you to everyone in the industry who voted for this video. But I also really want to thank the fans because you are the only reason why the industry cares about anything that I do. Everything that you guys have done — Folklore this summer — I'm just so blown away and taken aback by your generosity to me. So, thank you for everything. I hope I get to see you soon."
In "The Man" music video, Swift astonishingly transforms into a brunette, bearded man, whose bad behavior is on display throughout the clip — from urinating on a wall, to guzzling alcohol with a bevy of beautiful women, to manspreading on the subway.
Swift's "man" also loses his temper on a tennis court, screaming at the umpire and throwing his racket. After the final scene, the man exits and speaks to actual Swift on the music video’s set, where she’s sitting in a director's chair.
Previously, Velerie Faris won the award for her collaborations with Jonathan Daynton on the Smashing Pumkins' 1996 music video for "Tonight Tonight" and the Red Hot Chili Peppers' 2000 video for "Californication." In 2008, Erykah Badu and Mr. Roboto won for their "Honey" music video and in 2016, Melina Matsoukas won for Beyoncé's "Formation" music video.
Swift achieved her seventh No. 1 album in July with Folklore, the second album she has owned since leaving Big Machine. The debut marked the largest week registered for any album since Swift’s own 2019 album, Lover, which debuted at No. 1 with 867,000 units. Folklore is currently 2020’s top-selling album.
Swift's latest LP tied her with Janet Jackson — who also has seven No. 1 albums — and the two follow behind Barbara Streisand and Madonna, who have 11 and nine No. 1 albums, respectively. Among all acts, The Beatles have the most No. 1 albums, with 19.
Revealing the "surprise" project in July, Swift noted that a lot didn't go according to plan this year — and this album wasn't even an inkling in her wildest dreams.
"Most of the things I had planned this summer didn't end up happening, but there is something I hadn't planned on that DID happen. And that thing is my eighth studio album, folklore," she wrote. "Surprise 🤗"
The singer-songwriter shared that she "poured all of my whims, dreams, fears, and musings" into Folklore, which she created while self-isolating.
"Before this year I probably would've overthought when to release this music at the 'perfect’ time, but the times we're living in keep reminding me that nothing is guaranteed," she wrote. "My gut is telling me that if you make something you love, you should just put it out into the world. That’s the side of uncertainty I can get on board with."
The 2020 MTV Video Music Awards are airing from New York City on Sunday, Aug. 30 at 8 p.m. ET.