Taylor Swift opened the 2019 Billboard Music Awards in style with a performance of her record-breaking single “Me!” featuring Brendon Urie of Panic! At the Disco. Speaking to EW before the awards, Swift described her performance as “a fun explosion of glitter, pastel colors, and people flying through the air. It’s pretty much carrying out the landscape of the music video into the MGM Grand Las Vegas.”
And Swift delivered on that promise with a candy-coated aesthetic complete with fireworks, pink confetti, and animated chalk powder bursts. Swift kicked off her performance with a drumline clad in hot pink lining the stage that gave off vibes of Beyoncé’s Homecoming. The stage featured a collection of lamp posts reminiscent of artist Chris Burden’s “Urban Light” art installation on display at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art since 2008 (and all over your Instagram feed). Like in the video, Swift was joined by Urie, who arrived to the stage riding a giant umbrella decorated with a swirl of hot pink butterflies that matched his bold rain boots. Later an array of aerial dancers dropped down from the ceiling with swirling colors to match the on-stage dancers. Urie and Swift made a grand exit by riding off over the audience in an enormous two-seater umbrella swing.
When EW asked Swift if fans should watch her performance closely for new clues about her upcoming album, she replied: “Absolutely — always keep an eye out.”
Swift has not yet announced a title or release date for the highly-anticipated album.
It’s known that Swift loves to tease her adoring fans with easter eggs for upcoming projects — before the release of “Me!” she flooded her Instagram feed with a slew of shimmering rainbow posts, bedazzled and covered in butterflies, many of which turned out to be stills from the vibrant video.
Over the weekend, YouTube confirmed that the bubblegum-pop bop’s whimsical music video is most-watched visual from a solo or female artist in history.
Additional reporting by Alex Suskind