Swift, 26, won for her album, 1989, one of the fastest and best-selling albums in a decade.
The pure pop album won over Kendrick Lamar’s critically acclaimed To Pimp A Butterfly, Alabama Shakes’ boisterous rock album Sound & Color, country music singer Chris Stapelton’s Traveller, and The Weekend’s Beauty Behind the Madness.
Leading up to the show, Lamar was the odds-on favorite to win the award. He was nominated for 11 Grammys overall, the most of any artist. But it was not to be.
The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, which hands out the awards, tends to skew toward the conservative on major awards. None is bigger than Album of the Year.
Still, nobody seemed more surprised than Swift when her name was announced. She gave seatmate Selena Gomez a super big hung as well as other seatmates and made her way to the stage, wearing a stunning skirt with a bandage top.
After thanking her fans, collaborators and Mac Martin, her long-time producer, Swift reached out to women in the audience.
“As the first woman to win Album of the Year twice, I want to say to all the young women out there… there will be people along the way who try to undercut your success, or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame.
“But if you just focus on the work and you don’t let those people sidetrack you, someday when you get where you are going, you will know it was you and the people you love who put you there,” she said.
“Thank you for this moment,” she added.
Many news outlets claimed her speech was a dig at Kanye West, who took credit for Swift’s fame in his rap song “Famous” off his new album. The lyrics also produced a backlash. For the record they goes like this:
“I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex
Why? I made that bitch famous.”
The lyrics refer to their infamous confrontation at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards.
Whether that was her true intention remains unclear. She could have just as easily been addressing Gomez. Former boyfriend Justin Bieber has often taken credit for making her famous.
Either way, her message resonated on music’s biggest night.
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