Taylor Swift’s ‘Innocent’ VMA Performance: Still Intense, Still Resonating

The 2010 MTV Video Music Awards wrapped up two days ago, but the events of the evening are still resonating deeply throughout the music world. Fans are still marveling at Linkin Park’s performance, exploring the amazing logistics of getting Rihanna to the show for a surprise appearance with Eminem and keeping Kanye West’s freshly-premiered “Runaway” steadily on repeat. There is also still plenty of chatter about Taylor Swift’s performance of her new song “Innocent” at the show, which has piqued the interest of fans, critics and experts for a number of different reasons.

Certainly the most somber, sullen song Swift has ever played in a forum as large as the Video Music Awards, “Innocent” begins as a simple, spartan ballad and grows into a powerful torch song. Aided by moody lighting, key video effects and the song’s snaky melody, Swift delivered a powerful performance that found her in excellent voice. When she wrapped up, people immediately began speculating that “Innocent” was a song written for Kanye (whose image — taken from the 2009 VMAs — ran on video screens before Swift started the song).

Since her upcoming album Speak Now is supposedly made up of songs written for particular individuals, it’s entirely possible that “Innocent” is the track she wrote to West. Experts were torn, though fans seemed pretty sharply divided over both the song’s content and its presentation. That isn’t particularly shocking, considering that “Innocent” is a different beast than anything Swift has ever put out.

Check out Taylor Swift’s performance of “Innocent” again and consider the questions: Is the song about Kanye West? Is it too dark, or does it represent growth for the singer? And what is your overall impression of her performance? Let us know what you think in the comments.


The Moonmen have all been handed out and the stars have gone home, but there’s plenty of 2010 MTV Video Music Awards news, interviews, behind-the-scenes scoop, party reports and more still to come, so keep it locked on MTVNews.com.