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The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News



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Taylor Swift sweeps 2023 MTV Video Music Awards

Jethro R. Lee
Taylor Swift won an astounding 9 awards at the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards. The pop sensation has now earned 23 of these trophies across her career.

Taylor Swift made history Sept. 12 by winning nine out of the 11 MTV Music Awards she was nominated for. She received nominations for Video of the Year, Artist of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Pop, Best Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects, Best Editing, Show of the Summer, Song of the Summer and Album of the Year. She received the most nominations this year and ended the night becoming the artist with the second-highest wins of all time with 23, only behind Beyoncé, who has 30. 

On the MTV website, the general public was allowed to distribute up to 10 or 20 votes across nominees of a certain category. People could also vote for some categories via MTV Instagram stories. Fans could vote for their favorite artists across different dates from August to September, depending on the category.

Swift received the Video of the Year award for the fourth time for “Anti-Hero”—  she previously won for “All Too Well: The Short Film, “Bad Blood ft. Kendrick Lamar,” and “You Need to Calm Down.” Furthermore, she became the first artist to win Video of the Year two times consecutively. She was incredibly thankful to the fans who supported her, especially since her Video of the Year Award would not have been in her hands if not for them.

UMG (on behalf of TS/Republic); UMPI, SOLAR Music Rights Management, UNIAO BRASILEIRA DE EDITORAS DE MUSICA - UBEM, UMPG Publishing, Sony Music Publishing, BMI - Broadcast Music Inc., LatinAutor - SonyATV, LatinAutor - UMPG, LatinAutorPerf, CMRRA, and 7 Music Rights Societies

As she received her Video of the Year Award, Swift pronounced her gratitude to her ardent supporters. “This is unbelievable. I just want to say that the fact that this is a fan-voted award means so much to me,” she said.

She also became the third to win the Best Direction award three times after David Fincher and Spike Jonze and the first woman to attain this achievement. Her triumphs are impressive considering she only started directing four years ago with her music video for “The Man” in 2019. Swift is one Best Pop award away from tying Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake for the most wins in the category. 

The evening was quite eventful not only for Swift but also for her fans, who were presented with a cluster of funny and wholesome moments featuring the artist. Video clips and memes swarmed the Internet, from her aggressively dancing during Demi Lovato’s performance to getting captured in heartwarming pictures with her close friend, Selena Gomez.

Swift seemed awestruck by the fact that the former members of NSYNC presented her with her Best Pop Award. She fangirled over their presence, declaring that the group must have big plans if they decided to reunite for an event as grand as the MTV Awards. Per “Eras Tour” customaries, NSYNC member Lance Bass presented Swift with beaded friendship bracelets with, as Swift said, his “golden pop hands.” 

The evening enabled Swift to secure another remarkable set of accolades in the midst of her already successful present life. She has been going on a record-breaking tour, and a soon-to-be-released movie with skyrocketing presale figures portraying a show from the tour is debuting Oct. 13. Fans are anticipating the release of her next re-record, “1989 (Taylor’s Version),” Oct. 27. Her hit single “Cruel Summer” reached over a billion streams despite getting released as a single four years after its release. 

Her tremendous accomplishments come after years of triumphs but also tribulations, notably at the MTV Video Music Awards, or VMAs. Swift has been a notable figure in the VMAs ever since Kanye West humiliated her at the award show in September 2009. Swift won the award for Best Female Video for “You Belong With Me.” In the middle of her acceptance speech, West barged in to remark that he was happy for Swift but felt that Beyoncé deserved to win the award instead. The 2009 VMA incident came as a shock to many, including Swift.

In her Netflix documentary “Miss Americana,” Swift reveals how she thought the crowd was booing her rather than West after the latter interrupted her. “For someone who has built their whole belief system on getting people to clap for you, the whole crowd booing is a pretty formative experience. That was a sort of catalyst for a lot of psychological paths that I went on and not all of them were beneficial,” she said.

Sbe also endured the pain of getting her masters sold to an investment fund for more than $300 million by Scooter Braun without her consent, which prompted her to re-record her first six albums, news of her mother’s cancer diagnosis, Ticketmaster’s obstacles for fans yearning to watch her on tour, resellers offering tickets to desperate fans at unreasonable prices and so much more. 

Yet, ever since these setbacks, Swift has received countless awards and nominations across different award shows. She has still summoned the determination to produce work captivating enough to enable her to have a stellar record at the VMAs. Here’s a complete list outlining Swift’s MTV Video Music Award win history:

Best Female Video (“You Belong with Me”)

Best Female Video (“I Knew You Were Trouble”)

Best Female Video (“Blank Space”)
Best Pop Video (“Blank Space”)
Video of the Year (“Bad Blood” featuring Kendrick Lamar)
Best Collaboration (“Bad Blood” featuring Kendrick Lamar)

Best Collaboration (“I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” with Zayn)

Video of the Year (“You Need to Calm Down”)
Video for Good (“You Need to Calm Down”)
Best Visual Effects (“ME!” featuring Brendon Urie)


Best Direction (“The Man”)


Best Direction (“All Too Well: The Short Film”)

Best Long Form Video (“All Too Well: The Short Film”)

Video of the Year (“All Too Well: The Short Film”)


Video of the Year (“Anti-Hero”)

Artist of the Year

Song of the Year (“Anti-Hero”)

Best Pop (“Anti-Hero”)

Best Direction (“Anti-Hero”)

Best Cinematography (“Anti-Hero”)

Best Visual Effects (“Anti-Hero”)

Show of the Summer (“The Eras Tour”)

Album of the Year (“Midnights”)

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