Welcome back to the red carpet, Taylor Swift!
The Reputation singer surprised fans by showing up to the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday night (May 20), marking her first awards show appearance in two years. And for her grand return, Swift stunned in a very "Old Taylor"-esque ensemble: a rosy, romantic Versace gown with feathers and embellishments galore.
While Swift certainly made a statement on the carpet, it was her statements inside the show that really struck a chord. While accepting the trophy for Top Female Artist, she shouted out her Reputation Tour mates, Charli XCX and Camila Cabello, and then championed her fellow women in music.
"I want to thank all the female artists who paved the way for us to get to do what we do the way we get to do it," Swift said. "All the new female artists who are killing it out there right now, we’re so inspired by you. And shout-out to the future female artists who just picked up a guitar or learned how to play the piano. And to the fans who care about the music that we make, thank you so much."
Then, while accepting the trophy for Top Selling Album, she gave an emotional speech about finally feeling "understood" again after facing so much backlash during the past few years (something she's recently addressed on her Reputation Tour).
"I started writing songs because it made me feel more understood," she said. "When I was making Reputation, this album, for a while there I felt really misunderstood by a lot of people. So I just want to say to the fans, thank you for continuing to show up. We just started our tour last week and the ways that you have cared about me and the ways that you’ve treated me — thank you for making me feel understood again."
When she wasn't accepting awards onstage, Swift was sandwiched between Cabello and Shawn Mendes — in a seat cleverly marked for a "special guest" — and promptly danced the night away with her pals, as she's wont to do. Oh, and she also met BTS backstage. All in all, it was a pretty darn good night for T. Swift, so here's hoping she'll bless us with more awards show appearances soon!