Taylor Swift is set to debut her killer kiss-off anthem "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards on September 6. The songstress' appearance will mark the first time she's ever performed the track live. But the moment is hardly Swift's first big VMA moment.
Over the course of her four-year history with the show, the singer has left her mark on the VMAs with a slew of memorable performances and unforgettable wins. Before the big night, let's take a look back at the singer's storied history with MTV's annual celebration of music videos.
It initially took Swift two years after her self-titled debut album hit the shelves in 2006 for the curly haired blonde crossover star to make her VMA debut thanks to the success of 2008's Fearless.
That year, she not only worked the red carpet during the pre-show, she also went into it with her first-ever VMA nomination. She was up for Best New Artist for her "Teardrops on My Guitar" video. "I didn't think it was possible," she told MTV News that year. "I was so shocked. I started screaming, 'I get to go to the VMAs!' I didn't think I'd get to go to the VMAs. I'm not that cool. As a country artist, I've been pretty unapologetic about it. [But] it's cool to be included."
Reflecting on her experience in 2008, Swift told MTV News' Sway Calloway earlier this week, "I've never been more stressed out in my life. I don't know how you do what you do. When you're on the red carpet, you don't know who's gonna walk up next so you have to be prepped to interview Diddy and Mariah Carey and Rihanna and Chris Brown and like Drake, all in a row. I commend you for that. You have a very difficult job and I know cause I did it for a day and I was so stressed out even more so than usual, which is a lot. "
While she lost to Tokio Hotel in 2008, she was more than cool enough to nab a Moonman in 2009 for Best Female Video for her Fearless hit "You Belong With Me." Her win would go down as one of the most memorable in the show's history thanks to an unwelcome cameo during her acceptance speech by Kanye West.
After her win, she would take over the subway and the streets of New York City to perform her award-winning track. And by the end of the night, it was Beyoncé who let her finish the speech she hadn't had the chance to make earlier in the night.
"Maybe we can try this again," Swift told the room, later thanking the video's director, Roman White, her brother's school for allowing her to use their location, her co-star Lucas Till and her fans.
In 2010, she didn't take home any prizes (she was up for Best Female Video for another Fearless track, "Fifteen"), but she did manage to make headlines for another reason. She premiered the never-before-heard Speak Now track "Innocent."
"I had a lot of options going into the VMAs: You can not go; you can perform your current single; you can pretend like nothing happened last year that everybody is not thinking about; or you can say what you need to say at the time that you need to say it," she later explained about the song's origins and ties to the Yeezy incident. "And having an album coming out that's called Speak Now, that's about saying what you feel at the time, I knew I needed to go to the VMAs this year."
In 2011, Swift was across the street at the Staples Center when the show went live, playing a stop on her Speak Now tour, so she couldn't make the show. She had been up for Best Video With a Message for her hater-defying track "Mean." Lady Gaga ended up going home with the Moonman in the category for her equally empowering "Born This Way" video.
With her new album Red set for release on October 22, Swift will treat fans to her premiere live performance of the hit single "Never Ever." Given how theatrical Swift can be, it's really anyone's guess what she might have planned for the big show.