Back to her roots! Taylor Swift made her return to the Academy of Country Music Awards on Wednesday, September 16, to perform her single “Betty.”
The singer-songwriter, 30, delivered the performance from the legendary Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville. She played an acoustic guitar while sitting on stage and belting out the lyrics to the track. She wore a sparkly top and khaki-colored pants with her hair pulled back, opting for a natural beauty look.
Swift last performed at a country show in November 2013, when she teamed up with Alison Krauss, Edgar Meyer, Eric Darken, Sam Bush and Vince Gill for a stripped-down rendition of her song “Red” at the Country Music Association Awards.
The 10-time Grammy winner surprised fans on Sunday, September 13, when she announced that she would be on the 2020 ACM Awards. “Bout to show up at your party @acmawards,” she wrote on her Instagram Stories, paraphrasing lyrics from “Betty.”
In addition to being her first country show in seven years, the ACM Awards marked Swift’s first performance since the July 24 release of her surprise eighth studio album, Folklore. The record has spent a whopping six weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, tying the Pennsylvania native with the late Whitney Houston for the most cumulative weeks at the top of the chart by a woman in history.
The other artists tapped to perform on Wednesday night’s ACM Awards included Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani, Luke Bryan, Keith Urban (who hosted the ceremony) and Pink, Miranda Lambert, Thomas Rhett and Jon Pardi, Luke Combs, Trisha Yearwood and Florida Georgia Line.
Swift was a country singer when she launched her career in 2006 with her self-titled debut album. She slowly transitioned to pop as the years went by, and fully embraced the genre in 2014 with her fifth record, 1989. Folklore has been described as indie folk, although “Betty” was sent to country radio in August.
“Betty,” which was produced by Jack Antonoff and The National’s Aaron Dessner, made headlines after its release for including the names of Swift’s friends Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively’s three children: James, Inez and Betty.
The 55th ACM Awards air on CBS Wednesday, September 16, at 8 p.m. ET.
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