Taylor Swift completed her most recent stadium tour in November, but at the 2019 TIME 100 Gala in New York City on April 23, Swift took to the stage once more for a performance that left the audience of fellow TIME 100 honorees rapt.
Swift ran through a set that included acoustic guitar covers of hit songs like “Style” and “Delicate.” She then moved to the piano for emotional renditions of “Love Story” and “New Year’s Day” before ending with a rousing performance of “Shake It Off.”
“I’m so completely honored to get to perform for this incredible group of people. I’m honored to be with you while you’re honored,” she told the crowd in between songs. “I hope you guys have the best night ever and just keep doing what you’re doing because I appreciate you so much, and I’m so happy to be in this room with you.”
Swift also reminisced about the first time she made TIME’s list of the world’s most influential people in 2010 and praised fellow musical honoree Khalid, who had performed earlier in the evening.
“The first time I was ever on this magnificent list was almost 10 years ago,” she said. “I performed in Khalid’s spot. And I’m a huge Khalid fan. If you haven’t listened to his new album Free Spirit, that’s a real loss. That’s a real missed opportunity.”
Swift follows in the footsteps of 2018 performers Jennifer Lopez and Shawn Mendes. In fact, “In My Blood” singer Mendes penned the tribute for Swift in this year’s TIME 100 as well. “I quickly learned that the magic of Taylor Swift doesn’t come from the lights, dancers or fireworks (although all of that is incredible),” he wrote, “but from the electrifying connection that she has with the people who are there to see her.”
Her appearance comes just days before April 26, the date she has been counting down towards on social media for weeks. Fans speculate we will see Swift release new music, following up on her 2017 album Reputation.
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