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Top 10 Taylor Swift Musical Performances

VO: JR WRITTEN BY: Savannah Sher
Script written by Savannah Sher Taylor Swift always gives great performances, but for this countdown, we’re taking a look at her top 10! We’ve included her 2010 MTV Video Music Awards, 2013 BRIT Awards, 2012 Grammy Awards, 2008 CMA Awards, 2013 Billboard Music Awards, 2014 Grammy Awards, 2013 Grammy Awards and 2008 Academy of Country Music Awards.
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Top 10 Taylor Swift Musical Performances


Love her or hate her, you can’t deny that Tay Tay gives a great live show. Welcome to MsMojo and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Taylor Swift Musical Performances.

For this list, we’re looking at our favorite live performances from this mega star.

#10: “Innocent”
27th Annual MTV Video Music Awards (2010)



The focus of the 2010 VMAs may have been Lady Gaga and her meat dress, but all eyes were also on Taylor after the fiasco that took place the previous year. The year prior was when Kanye West infamously interrupted Taylor’s acceptance speech when she won Best Female Video, starting one of the most well documented celebrity feuds of all time. So in 2010, we can imagine she was a little bit nervous when it came time to get up in front of the crowd again to perform. She did it admirably though, giving an understated performance of “Innocent”, which allegedly refers to the 2009 incident.

#9: “I Knew You Were Trouble”
33rd Annual BRIT Awards (2013)



As the years have gone by in Taylor’s career, her live shows have become more and more elaborate. What started off as just a girl and her guitar escalated to light shows, pyrotechnics and a team of dancers. She can now give a pop performance as good as they come, and this 2013 rendition of her hit “I Knew You Were Trouble” is no exception. The stage was set for a dramatic show and Taylor really gave it with an outfit change and moves that were a little more risqué than what her fans were used to.

#8: “Love Story”
42nd Annual CMA Awards (2008)

Back in Taylor’s country hey day, she performed one of her first big hits at the 2008 Country Music Awards. You might notice watching this performance that she seems a little bit nervous, but then she was still pretty new to singing at these types of large-scale events. “Love Story” was the first single from “Fearless” and went on to become one of the best selling songs of all time. This performance fit the classically romantic theme of the tune and it makes us kind of miss the old Taylor who wore these sorts of dramatic ball gowns on the reg.

#7: “Mean”
54th Annual Grammy Awards (2012)

At the 54th Grammys, Taylor gave us a bit of a throwback to her country roots. She got right into the bluegrass spirit with her rendition of “Mean”, which is the kind of song that just screams country. Swift even played a banjo during the set, which added an extra level of down home fun. “Mean” won two awards that night, including Best Country Solo Performance and Best Country Song. Swift didn’t manage to take home Country Album of the Year that night, but her performance will live on as one of her best.

#6: “All Too Well”
56th Annual Grammy Awards (2014)

After the release of Swift’s album, “1989”, fans would have a long time to wait before getting new music so it was the perfect time for her to pull out an oldie to perform at the Grammys. This performance was a simple one- just Taylor wearing a stunning gown seated at a piano- but it still had a big impact. One reviewer called it the performance of the night and another called it “unforgettable”. By this time in her career, she had really hit her stride in terms of her live singing, and this was no exception.

#5: “22”
20th Annual Billboard Music Awards (2013)



This is one of Taylor’s most fun and upbeat songs and she was clearly having a good time when she performed it at the Billboard Music Awards in 2013. The song started with Taylor singing backstage and running through the hallways, picking up dancers along the way. When she finally made it to the stage, she was joined by the Jabbawockeez of America’s Best Dance Crew fame. Taylor had both the most nominations that night as well as the most wins, taking home the awards for Artist of the Year, Top Country Album, Top Billboard 200 Artist and many more.

#4: “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”
55th Annual Grammy Awards (2013) Taylor Swift is queen of the breakup song, and if there’s one that stands out from the pack, it’s this one from “Red”. Taylor performed “We are Never Ever Getting Back Together” as part of the opening for the 2013 Grammys. The song was nominated for Record of the Year that night and while it didn’t take home the award, the performance was definitely a memorable one. The song is rumored to be about one of Swift’s exes, either Jake Gyllenhaal or Harry Styles of English boy band One Direction fame. And during the Grammy performance, she put on a British accent, which may have been a nod to the inspiration for the lyrics.

#3: “Should've Said No”
43rd Annual ACM Awards (2008)



As far as memorable performances go, there may not be one as emblematic of Taylor’s career as this one. She started the Academy of Country Music Awards performance sitting on a stool with her guitar, wearing a hooded sweater with the hood pulled over her eyes. After a minute, she threw her guitar off stage and ramped up the energy, stripping off her outer layers to reveal a black dress underneath. To finish the song off, she let herself get absolutely soaked in a simulated rainfall. Footage from this show even ended up appearing in the video for the song.

#2: “Blank Space”
42nd Annual American Music Awards (2014)

When Taylor Swift released “1989”, she was open about the fact that she was leaving her country roots behind for this new album to fully succumb to her pop tendencies. This performance took place not long after the single was first released, and was reminiscent of the video in terms of its theme. The AMAs provided an elaborate set piece that lent itself to this dramatic rendition of the song. That night she won the Dick Clark Award for Excellence and there was no question that she deserved it after a set like this.


Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“Ours”
45th Annual CMA Awards (2011)


“Style”
Victoria's Secret Fashion Show (2014)




“Out of the Woods”
58th Annual Grammy Awards (2016)


#1: “You Belong with Me”
26th Annual MTV Video Music Awards (2009)



When historians look back at this decade, they may name 2009 the “year of the flash mob”. They were at the height of popularity when Swift used the theme for her VMA performance, starting off the song on a subway platform and then boarding a train with a gang of passengers to accompany her. Everything about her look here is classic Taylor, from the blonde curls to the red lipstick to the red dress. It all culminates outside of Radio City Music Hall with Swift on top of a New York taxi surrounded by hundreds of screaming fans.
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