In the midst of a monumental release week, Taylor Swift stopped by the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards on Monday (Aug. 26) to play some cuts from her new album, Lover — with help from some very special guests.
Continuing the pro-LGBTQ+ message of “You Need To Calm Down” and its star-studded music video, Swift re-created the rainbow-colored clip, with virtual-reality lyrics popping out from the screen (as well as “Equality Act” as the song came to a close). A few superstar drag queens also stopped by the stage, including Tatianna, Jade Jolie and Trinity The Tuck Taylor, among others.
Then Swift slowed down the tempo, donned a shimmering purple jacket, grabbed a guitar that read ‘Lover’ and launched into a gorgeous, faithful rendition of her new album’s title track. The entirety of the Prudential Center in Newark swayed along with Swift, who took a hearty bow as the arena crowd applauded the opening.
“You Need To Calm Down” is up for video of the year at this year’s VMAs; Swift previously won the top trophy with “Bad Blood.” The pop superstar is tied with Ariana Grande for the most nods of the evening, with 12 each.
Lover has been available for less than a week, and Swift’s seventh studio album is already the top-selling full-length of 2019. Released on Friday (Aug. 23), the album has scored the biggest sales week for any album since Swift’s own Reputation in 2017.
Watch Swift’s full performance below.