Lorde Defines the New Taylor Swift at MTV VMAs

Swift Performs "Shake It Off" With Tuxedoed Dancers/Tumblers

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2014 VMA, Artists.MTV, Music, Taylor Swift

It was worth watching Lorde introduce Taylor Swift on Sunday night’s (Aug. 24) 2014 MTV Video Music Awards just to see how the pop world is embracing Swift’s new commitment to their world. And if Lorde speaks for the genre, it sounds like she’s being welcomed with open arms.

“On the surface, this next performer and I are nothing alike. She’s tall, blond and doesn’t wear quite this much black,” Lorde said, referencing her heavy black jumpsuit. “But we both base our art on the kinds of things that delight, terrify and confound us. And for that, I’m grateful she exists. I’m so proud to introduce — at the beginning of her brand new era — my friend Taylor Swift.”

Swift’s performance of her new song “Shake It Off” was a spectacle, complete with about 20 tuxedoed dancers/tumblers and a group of female background vocalists.

And watching the audience watch Swift was its own kind of performance. Gwen Stefani and Jennifer Lopez seemed to like it, as did Ariana Grande and Miley Cyrus. And Chelsea Handler, who presented the male video award right after Swift performed, thanked her for being “so white.”

Before she left for the MTV VMAs, Swift tweeted a photo of her sparkles — on her mic and on her shoes. She’d also tweeted thanks to her “Shake It Off” director Mark Romanek for sending her a video of a dance company in Texas doing a flash mob to the song at Raising Cane’s café in Lewisville.

“So @markromanek just sent me this and I’m hyperventilating with joy over it. Thank you, Dimensions Dance,” Swift wrote.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.