"If you're experiencing turbulence or pressure, that probably means you're rising," Taylor Swift said in an empowering speech Tuesday as she made history

By Tomás Mier
May 11, 2021 05:45 PM
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A global icon, for sure!

On Tuesday, Taylor Swift took home the global icon award at the 2021 Brit Awards, as she becomes both the first woman and first non-English artist to take home the award. She's also the youngest person to win the coveted prize.

Wearing a sparkly two-piece Miu Miu outfit, Swift, 31, went on stage to give a powerful speech as she accepted the award from Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams, who called her one of the "biggest names in the history of music" and "an inspiration to people all around the world."

"If anyone who knows me at all knows that Game of Thrones is my life. So, the fact that Maisie was here to present this, I want to grab you," she started. "I can't, since we're social distancing but thank you so much for coming here to do this."

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift
| Credit: Dave J Hogan/Getty

Swift thanked the people who made appearances during a sizzle reel about her career, including Ed Sheeran, Selena Gomez, Zoë Kravitz and Annie Lennox. ("Taylor Swift is the same girl I met when I was 15. And she cares so deeply for her fans," Gomez said in it. "I wish I could be there to support you and hang out with you. You are amazing.")

"My soul left my body when Annie Lennox was on that video. It was like 1000 surprise birthday parties and all your friends are like jumping out like, 'Ah!' and you're just like, 'This is the best," she said as she thanked the awards committee, her fans and also the National Health Service and essential workers.

"Last year I even almost played Glastonbury, but we all know what happened next, the world changed. And I ended up putting out three albums instead," she said. "Making folklore and evermore was one of the most unique, cathartic, extraordinary experiences I've ever had."

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift
| Credit: David M. Benett/getty

Swift then thanked her collaborators, including Jack Antonoff, Justin Vernon, Aaron Dessner and her boyfriend Joe Alwyn.

"I want to thank my friends and family who know exactly who they are, whose opinion of me never changed whether my stock was up or down," she said. "If there's one thing that I've learned it's that you have to look around you every day and take note of the people who have always believed in you and never stop appreciating them for it."

tayrlor swift
Taylor Swift
| Credit: JMEnternational/getty

"Never take them for granted," she added. "There are so many incredible new artists in this room tonight, and a lot of people watching who have goals and ambitions and dreams for themselves. I need you to hear me when I say that there is no career path that comes free of negativity. If you're being met with resistance, that probably means that you're doing something new."

Swift continued by giving the rising stars in attendance more advice from her lengthy, experienced career.

"If you're experiencing turbulence or pressure, that probably means you're rising. And there might be times when you put your whole heart and soul into something, and if it is met with cynicism or skepticism, you cannot let that crush you, you have to let it fuel you," she said. "We live in a world where anyone has the right to say anything that they want about you at any time, but just please remember that you have the right to prove them wrong."

taylor swift
Credit: JMEnternational/getty

"I love you all, thank you so much for this beautiful honor thank you to the Brits," she said to end her speech.

The only other artists to win the award have been Elton John in 2014, David Bowie in 2016 and Robbie Williams in 2017. The award recognizes artists' "immense impact on music across the world and incredible repertoire and achievements to date."

Ahead of the Brits, Swift shared a photo of her outfit with her caption referring to her track "Mirrorball."

"Spinning in my highest heels, luv," she wrote.

Along with the global icon award, Swift was nominated for international female solo artists against Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, Cardi B and Miley Cyrus. (Eilish took home the prize.)

Nominated for Brit Awards seven times before, she earned the international female solo artist award in 2015.

It's been a jam-packed year for the songstress who earned a Grammy for album of the year for folklore, which she released last summer. She's also dropped evermore and the re-recorded version of her hit album Fearless, now Fearless: Taylor's Version.

RELATED VIDEO: Taylor Swift Says She Went 'Line By Line' on Every Fearless Song to See What to 'Improve' on Re-Record

Among those performing at the awards show this year are Coldplay, Dua Lipa, Olivia Rodrigo and The Weeknd.

Lipa is among the British artists with the most nominations. Her album Future Nostalgia is up for album of the year, "Physical" is nominated for single of the year and she's up for female solo artist of the year.

The show is being hosted by Jake Whitehall at The O2 in Greenwich.