Taylor Swift used to be an inescapable presence at award shows, but ever since she wrapped up her 1989 tour three years ago she’s kept an extremely low public profile by skipping out on the Grammys, the MTV Video Music Awards and all the other award shows in addition to turning down nearly all interview requests. But on October 9th she’s going to break the streak by opening up the American Music Awards with a performance of “I Did Something Bad.”
Let’s take a look all the way back to May of 2007 when a 17-year-old Swift made her awards show debut at the Academy of Country Music Awards to play her debut single “Tim McGraw.” She’s already done the song on Good Morning America, The Megan Mullally Show and The Tonight Show With Jay Leno at that point, but this time she had the added pressure of singing it in front of McGraw himself when they’d never even met. They seated the country icon in the front row next to his wife Faith Hill, inches away from Swift. When it ended, she walked up and introduced herself. She then turned to the camera and mouthed “Tim McGraw!” in a state of absolute awe. For many Americans, this was one of their first glimpses of the budding superstar.
“Tim McGraw” fell out of her live rotation after the 2009/2010 Fearless tour, though she played it a handful of times on the Red tour in 2013. In late August of this year, she stunned the crowd at Nissan Stadium in Nashville by bringing out McGraw and Hill to sing the song with her, taking her entire career full circle. It’s part of her ongoing effort to include a special moment at every single stop of her ongoing Reputation stadium tour. Most nights, that meaning digging deep into her catalog for an acoustic song on the B-stage. By the time the tour is done, she will have performed nearly every song she ever wrote.