A sweet tribute. Taylor Swift’s Grammys 2021 speech was dedicated to her boyfriend, Joe Alwyn. The “Cardigan” singer won her 11th Grammy at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, March 14, in the Album of the Year category for her 2020 album, Folklore. The Grammy is Swift’s third win for Album of the Year overall after wins in the category in 2010 for Fearless and in 2015 for 1989.
Swift, who was described as “one of the greatest living songwriters” by her Folklore collaborator Aaron Dessner, shouted out her long-term boyfriend, Joe Alwyn, during her speech. “I want to thank all of my collaborators on this stage,” she began, naming collaborators like Justin Vernon. “Joe, who is the first person that I play that I write—I had the best time writing songs with you in quarantine,” she added.
Swift also thanked her friends, Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds, and their three kids, James, Inez, and Betty, whose names Swift used for characters in Folklore songs “August,” “Betty” and “Cardigan.” “Thank you, James, Inez, and Betty and their parents who are the second and third people,” she said.
“But mostly, we just want to thank the fans,” she continued. “You guys met us in this imaginary world that we created and we can’t tell you how honored we are, forever, by this. Thank you so much.”
Swift—who has won 10 Grammys before her newest win, including two times for Album of the Year—was nominated for six categories at this year’s awards show: Best Pop Vocal Album and Album of the Year for her 2020 album Folklore; Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance for her 2020 single “Cardigan”; Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for her Folklore duet, “Exile,” with Bon Iver; and Best Song Written for Visual Media for her song, “Beautiful Ghosts,” from the 2019 movie, Cats.
Swift’s Grammys win also comes after she released two surprise albums in 2020: Folklore in July, and Evermore in December. She’s also set to release a re-recorded version of her 2009 album, Fearless, on April 9. Swift announced the re-release of Fearless—which won her her first Album of the Year Grammy in 2010—on her Instagram in February.
“I’ve spoken a lot about why I’m remaking my first six albums,” she wrote at the time. “but the way I’ve chosen to do this will hopefully help illuminate where I’m coming from. Artists should own their own work for so many reasons, but the most screamingly obvious one is that the artist is the only one who really knows that body of work. For example, only I know which songs I wrote that almost made the Fearless album. Songs I absolutely adored, but were held back for different reasons (don’t want too many breakup songs, don’t want too many down tempo songs, can’t fit that many songs on a physical CD).”
Swift’s decision to re-record her first six albums came after her former record label, Big Machine Label Group, sold the masters of her first six albums to Scooter Braun for $300 million. Braun is a music manager whose clients include Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber. Since the sale, Swift and Braun have been embroiled in feud over the rights to her music. But if her Grammys performance proves anything, it’s that Taylor Swift always gets the last word.