Watch Taylor Swift Present Entertainer of the Year to Garth Brooks at 2016 CMA Awards

Taylor Swift returned to her roots to hand off the evening’s biggest prize Wednesday night (Nov. 2) at the CMA Awards. 

Confidently, Swift strode to the Bridgestone Arena stage, looking out on the setting of numerous awards and triumphs throughout her career. “It’s been almost 13 years since I came to Nashville with a dream of being a songwriter and being a recording artist,” Swift announced. After explaining why she was so honored to present entertainer of the year, she read off the nominees: Garth Brooks, Luke Bryan, Chris Stapleton, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban.

With that, Swift conceded the spotlight to the winner. “Garth Brooks,” she proclaimed, as the country veteran strode forward to give his acceptance speech, closing off the evening. 

Even after going pop on the ultra-successful 1989, it’s clear that Swift knows the importance of taking time to salute the role country played in building her stardom.