Taylor Swift sets new American Music Awards record, urges youth to ‘get out and vote’
Taylor Swift is having a big week: She first broke her long-standing refusal to discuss politics Sunday and on Tuesday night she gave her first awards show performance in three years at the American Music Awards (AMAs).
The pop star opened Tuesday night’s show at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles and performed I Did Something Bad. Other performers included Cardi B, Bad Bunny, J Balvin, Mariah Carey, Carrie Underwood, twenty one pilots and Jennifer Lopez. The show also paid tribute to Aretha Franklin.
She used her speech to encourage fans to vote.
“I just wanted to make a mention at the fact that this award and every single award given out tonight were voted on by the people, and you know what else is voted on by the people is the midterm elections on November 6,” the Love Story singer said.
She also picked up three other awards, for best female pop artist, best tour, and best pop album for reputation, the biggest seller of 2017.
Apart from Swift, the awards show was largely politics-free.
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Host Tracee Ellis Ross sported a white T-shirt for part of the evening saying “I am a voter,” and presenter Billy Eichner, best known for the TV comedy Parks and Recreation, urged the youth audience to register to vote.
“You can go to vote.org, like Taylor Swift told you to,” Eichner said.
Swift, who has 112 million followers on Instagram, took to the social media platform on Oct. 7 to encourage her fans to register to vote.
Kamari Guthrie, the director of communications for Vote.Org, told Buzzfeed News there were 65,000 registrations in the 24-hour period after the I Knew You Were Trouble singer posted her reminder to register to vote to Instagram.
“We are up to 65,000 registrations in a single 24-hour period since T. Swift’s post,” Guthrie said.
Swift’s post began by the singer stating that she will be voting in the midterm elections.
“I’m writing this post about the upcoming midterm elections on November 6th, in which I’ll be voting in the state of Tennessee. In the past I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now,” she wrote.
Swift used her post to focus on the Senate race in Tennessee, where the singer is registered to vote.
Swift said that although she had previously voted for women in office, she feels she’s unable to support Republican Senate candidate, Marsha Blackburn.
Swift sent people to Vote.org to find information about where they can register to vote.
“So many intelligent, thoughtful, self-possessed people have turned 18 in the past two years and now have the right and privilege to make their vote count. But first you need to register, which is quick and easy to do. October 9th is the LAST DAY to register to vote in the state of TN. Go to vote.org and you can find all the info. Happy Voting!” the 28-year-old singer concluded.
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I’m writing this post about the upcoming midterm elections on November 6th, in which I’ll be voting in the state of Tennessee. In the past I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now. I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country. I believe in the fight for LGBTQ rights, and that any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is WRONG. I believe that the systemic racism we still see in this country towards people of color is terrifying, sickening and prevalent. I cannot vote for someone who will not be willing to fight for dignity for ALL Americans, no matter their skin color, gender or who they love. Running for Senate in the state of Tennessee is a woman named Marsha Blackburn. As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn. Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me. She voted against equal pay for women. She voted against the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which attempts to protect women from domestic violence, stalking, and date rape. She believes businesses have a right to refuse service to gay couples. She also believes they should not have the right to marry. These are not MY Tennessee values. I will be voting for Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for House of Representatives. Please, please educate yourself on the candidates running in your state and vote based on who most closely represents your values. For a lot of us, we may never find a candidate or party with whom we agree 100% on every issue, but we have to vote anyway. So many intelligent, thoughtful, self-possessed people have turned 18 in the past two years and now have the right and privilege to make their vote count. But first you need to register, which is quick and easy to do. October 9th is the LAST DAY to register to vote in the state of TN. Go to vote.org and you can find all the info. Happy Voting! 🗳😃🌈
—With files from the Associated Press and ReutersFollow @KatieScottNews
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