Taylor Swift opens the 2019 MTV VMAs by performing “You Need to Calm Down” and “Lover”: Watch

A dose of rainbows and acoustic tenderness

taylor swift 2019 mtv vmas video performance
Taylor Swift performs at the 2019 MTV VMAs

Taylor Swift opened the 2019 MTV VMAs on Monday night. Fresh off the release of her seventh album, Lover, the pop star took the stage to perform not one but two of its singles: “You Need to Calm Down” and the title track.

For the LGBTQ+ anthem “You Need to Calm Down”, Swift aptly filled the stage with rainbows and colorfully dressed dancers. The flashy performance also included song lyrics that seemed to pop out of the screen.

As Billboard reported earlier, Swift was joined by a number of drag queens who previously accompanied Miley Cyrus during her 2015 VMAs appearance. Swift’s performance didn’t come close to past iconic LGBTQ+ moments — such as the Britney Spears and Madonna kiss — but should have satisfied Lover fans.

Swift then took a more mellow approach for the tender “Lover”. In a glittering blue blazer, she stood alone centerstage with a white acoustic guitar in hand.

Replay video footage below, and catch all this year’s VMA performances here.

To support Lover, Swift will serve as musical guest on the upcoming season of Saturday Night Live. The 29-year-old singer recently said she intends to re-record her old songs in an attempt to regain control of her Big Machine albums following the label’s blockbuster deal with Scooter Braun.