Taylor Swift’s VMAs Performance Was All Rainbows (And No Kanye)

With a big LGBTIQ+ political statement, too.

Taylor Swift performing at the 2019 VMAs

Taylor Swift has opened the 2019 VMAs with a technicolour musical performance of Lover’s second single ‘You Need To Calm Down’, followed with a paired-back rendition of ‘Lover’.

Backed by a troupe of performers, Swift started big with a recreation of the all-rainbow pastel trailer park in ‘You Need…”s video, backed with 3D projections of several lyrics floating above the stage.

Swift was joined by the video’s choreographer Todrick Hall and an assortment of RuPaul’s Drag Race queens playing the song’s ‘pop queens’ who each have a crown.

In one of her most directly political moments, Swift ended the song with a projection of the words ‘Equality Act’, referencing a bill currently in front of the US Senate which would amend the Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination on the grounds of sexuality and gender identity.

After that, Swift grabbed a guitar and donned a blue sequinned jacket for a performance of ‘Lover’, prompting a sway along with the crowd.

Notably, the performance contained no reference to the 2009 VMAs, where Kanye West interrupted her acceptance speech for Best Music Video.

Watch the performance below.