Taylor Swift Accepts Woman of the Decade Award | Women In Music

Taylor Swift Accepts Woman of the Decade Award | Women In Music

Absolutely love this one, right? (audience applauds) Whew! This is sort of a, it’s
not a short speech. So just, I don’t want
this to slip and break ’cause it’s very important to me. – I got it. – Thank you so much. (audience laughs) She’s so supportive, we
all need someone like that. (laughs) I’m Taylor, good evening. I wanna first thank Billboard
from the bottom of my heart for this honor, for– Whoa, this is going great so far. (audience laughs) Excellent, okay. I wanna say thank you so much to Billboard for giving me this honor, for naming me as their
Woman of the Decade. So what does it mean to be
the woman of this decade? Well, it means I’ve seen a lot. When this decade began I was 20 years old and I had put out my self-titled
debut album when I was 16, and then the album that would
become my breakthrough album, which was called Fearless. And I saw that there was a world of music and experience beyond country music that I was really curious about. I saw pop stations send
my songs Love Story and You Belong With Me to
number one for the first time. And I saw that as a
female in this industry, some people will always have
slight reservations about you. Whether you deserve to be there,
whether your male producer or co-writer is the
reason for your success, or whether it was a savvy record label. It wasn’t. (audience laughs) I saw that people love to
explain away a woman’s success in the music industry, and
I saw something in me change due to this realization. This was the decade when I became a mirror for my detractors. Whatever they decided I couldn’t
do is exactly what I did. – [Audience Member] Woo! – Oh, I’ll take it.
(applauding) Thanks! Whatever they criticized about me became material for musical satires or inspirational anthems, and the best lyrical
examples I can think of are songs like Mean, Shake
It Off, and Blank Space. Basically if people had
something to say about me, I usually said something
back in my own way. And this reflect dictated
more than just my lyrics. When Fearless did win Album
of the Year at the Grammys and I did become the youngest
solo artist to ever win the award, with that win
came criticism and backlash in 2010 that I’d never experienced before as a young new artist. All of a sudden people had
doubts about my singing voice, was it strong enough, was
I a little bit pitchy? All of a sudden they weren’t
sure if I was the one writing the songs because
sometimes in the past I had had co-writers in the room. At that time I couldn’t understand why this wave of harsh
criticism had hit me so hard. I believe a popular
headline back then was, A Swift Backlash, which is
clever, you gotta give it to ’em. (audience laughs) And now I realize that
this is just what happens to a woman in music if she
achieves success or power beyond people’s comfort level. I now have come to expect
that with good news comes some sort of pushback. But I didn’t know that then. So then I decided that I
would be the only songwriter on my third album, Speak Now, and that I would tour constantly, work on my vocals every day, and perfect my stamina in a live show. I decided I would be what
they said I couldn’t be. I didn’t know then that soon enough people would decide on something else I wasn’t quite doing
right, and then the circle would keep going on and
on and rolling along and I would keep
accommodating, over-correcting, in an effort to appease my critics. They’re saying I’m dating
too much in my 20s? Okay, I’ll stop, I’ll just be single. For years. (audience laughs) Now they’re saying my album Red is filled with too many breakup songs? Okay, okay, I’ll make one
about moving to New York and deciding that really
my life is more fun with just my friends. Oh, they’re saying my
music is changing too much for me to stay in country music? All right. Okay, here’s an entire genre shift and a pop album called 1989. – [Audience Member] Woo! – Ah!
(applauding) You heard it? Sick! Now it’s that I’m showing
you too many pictures of me with my friends, okay,
I can stop doing that too. Now I’m actually a calculated manipulator rather than a smart businesswoman? Okay, I’ll disappear from
public view for years. Now I’m being cast a villain to you? Okay, here’s an album called Reputation and there are lots of snakes everywhere. In the last 10 years I have watched as women in this industry are criticized and measured up to each
other and picked at for their bodies, their
romantic lives, their fashion, or have you ever heard someone
say about a male artist, I really like his songs but
I don’t know what it is, there’s just something
about him I don’t like? No! That criticism is reserved for us! But you know, I’ve learned
that the difference between those who can continue
to create in that climate usually comes down to this. Who lets that scrutiny break them and who just keeps making art. I’ve watched as one of my
favorite artists of this decade, Lana Del Rey, was ruthly criticized– Yes! (man mumbles) Yeah. (applauding)
Thank you. We have similar tastes, I like it. She was ruthlessly criticized
in her early career and then slowly but surely she
turned into, in my opinion, the most influential artist in pop. Her vocal stylings, her
lyrics, her aesthetics, they’ve been echoed and repurposed
in every corner of music, and this year her incredible album is nominated for Album of
the Year at the Grammys because she just kept making art. And that example should inspire all of us, that the only way forward
is forward motion. That we shouldn’t let
obstacles like criticism slow down the creative
forces that drive us. And I see that fire in the newer
faces in our music industry whose work I absolutely love. I see it in Lizzo, Rosalia, Tayla Parx, Hayley Kiyoko, King Princess,
Camila Cabello, Halsey, Megan Thee Stallion,
Princess Nokia, Nina Nesbitt, Sigrid, Normani, H.E.R.,
Maggie Rogers, Becky G, Dua Lipa, Ella Mai, Billie Eilish. (audience cheers) And so many other amazing women who are making music right now. Female artists in music
have dominated this decade in growth, streaming,
record and ticket sales, and critical acclaim. So why are we doing so well? Because we have to grow fast. We have to work this hard, we have to prove that we deserve this, and we have to top our last achievements. Women in music, onstage
or behind the scenes, are not allowed to coast. We are held at a higher, sometimes impossible-feeling standard. And it seems that my fellow female artists have taken this challenge
and they have accepted it. It seems like the pressure
that could have crushed us made us into diamonds instead. And what didn’t kill us
actually did make us stronger. But we need to keep advocating for women in the recording studios,
behind the mixing board, in A and R meetings,
because rather than fighting to be taken seriously in their fields, these women are still struggling to even have a chance to be in the room. (audience applauds) We now find ourselves fully immersed in a vast frontier that
wasn’t around last decade, and that is the streaming world. In music, we’re always walking
hand-in-hand with technology, and sometimes that is so awesome, like how now we’re able
to just drop a song that we made yesterday. I’ve spoken out in the
past about the future of revenue flow for
creators and the songwriters and producers who are being left behind due to these rapid shifts and changes. I still don’t think that record contracts or producers agreements
have fully caught up, and I hope that in the next decade, we can keep searching
for the right solution for producers, songwriters, and creators. Don’t you? (audience applauds) Lately there’s been a new
shift that has affected me personally and that I feel is
a potentially harmful force in our industry, and as
your resident loud person, I feel the need to bring it up. And that is the unregulated
world of private equity coming in and buying up our
music as if it is real estate. As if it’s an app or a shoe line. This just happened to
me without my approval, consultation, or consent. After I was denied the chance
to purchase my music outright, my entire catalog was sold to Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings in a deal that I’m told was funded by the Soros Family, 23
Capital, and the Carlyle Group. Yet to this day none of these investors have ever bothered to contact
me or my team directly. To perform their due
diligence on their investment. On their investment in me. To ask how I might feel about
the new owner of my art. The music I wrote. The videos I created. Photos of me, my handwriting,
my album designs. And of course Scooter never
contacted me or my team to discuss it prior to the sale or even when it was announced. I’m fairly certain he knew exactly how I would feel about it though. And let me just say that the definition of the toxic male
privilege in our industry is people saying, but he’s
always been nice to me, when I’m raising valid
concerns about artists and their rights to own their music. And of course he’s nice to you. If you’re in this room, you
have something he needs. The fact is that private equity is what enabled this man to think, according to his own social media post, that he could buy me. But I’m obviously not going willingly. Yet the most amazing thing was to discover that it would be the women in our industry who would have my back and
show me the most vocal support at one of the most difficult times, and I will never, ever forget it. Like, ever. (cheers)
(applauds) But to conclude, I will
say that in 10 years I’ve seen forward steps in our industry, in our awareness, our inclusion, our ability to start calling
out unfairness and misconduct. I’ve seen the advent of social media, the way it can boost the
breakthrough of emerging artists and I’ve seen fans become
more engaged and supportive than ever before. I’ve leaned on that support and it has kept me in a
place where no matter what, I always wanted to keep
making music for them. I was up on a stage in
New York City in 2014 accepting Billboard Woman of the Year and I was talking about
the future of streaming. How we needed to make sure
that the female artists, writers, and producers
of the next generation were protected and compensated fairly. This was before my record deal
with Universal, last year, that would contractually guarantee that the artists on their roster be paid upon any sale of their
Spotify shares unrecoupable. So thank you for that. (audience applauds) This speech I’m referring
to was on my 25th birthday. I’m about to turn 30 tonight, woo! (cheers)
(applauds) But my exact quote during the speech was, “I really just feel like
we need to continue to try “to offer something to a
younger generation of musicians, “because somewhere right now
your future Woman of the Year “is probably sitting in a piano
lesson or in a girls’ choir “and today right now we
need to take care of her.” I’ve since learned that
at that exact moment, an 11-year-old girl in California really was taking piano lessons and really was in a girls’ choir. And this year she has been
named Woman of the Year at the age of 17, her name is Billie. (audience applauds) And those are the stories
we need to think about every day as we do our
jobs within this industry. The ones where people’s dreams come true and they get to create music
and play it for people. The ones where fans feel
a connection to music that makes their day easier,
makes their night more fun, makes their love feel more sacred, or their heartache feel less isolating. The ones where all of you in this room stand as an example for someone
else in the next generation who loves the same thing that we love. Music. And no matter what else
enters the conversation, we will always bring it back to music. And as for me, lately I’ve
been focusing less on doing what they say I can’t do and more on doing whatever the hell I want. (applauds)
Thank you for a magnificent, happy, free, confused, sometimes lonely but mostly golden decade. I’m honored to be here tonight. I feel very lucky to be
with you, thank you so much. (cheers)

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  1. 1 day before her birthday!
    Really special day I'm so proud of her, she has always been so supportive to others and she deserves a lot, she truly is the women of the decade
    Thank you Taylor

  2. can we believe Swift was upset that George Soros purchased her art? Was this a pretend upset-ness? I seem to remember her really going to bat for the left and promoting that political agenda. Note to Swift: Hillary is a Satanic Queen in the Cult (the same cult George is in) and you were totally for her and promoting her.

  3. "woman of the decade" is someone who can't sing live to save her life? whos always whining about boys who break her heart? lol ok

  4. How can she be happy while confused and lonely at the same time. She said women have dominated music for the last decade and then says they're oppressed. Which is it ? Dolly Parton and Shania Twain are both worth about $300 million each. Poor little victims. She calls herself a smart business woman and yet does not seem to have a clue how song ownership works. If Braun owns her songs he controls the copyright and she will be in violation of copyright to re-record and re-release them. I'm not impressed enough to think she's capable of managing her own career.

  5. I love Jameela Jamil. You know her as tahani al-jamil from the good place, and I love how much respect she gave Taylor in the good place. And sh3 does hear too! 😂😂😂

  6. The Sad part his "Noone is hearing scooter's Point of view" Everyone is supporting taylor and still there is "Toxic male privelege" You guys are all fools if you just support her cuz you are her fan, I love her music; i love her vocals; But its always been her struggle, her problems, her issues ; Dont you guys think its so one sided!

  7. Nailed it. That's my artist of the decade! I'm so glad I have decided to stan Taylor Swift when I was 18 yrs old year 2008, at least at some point in my life I have made the right decision.

  8. 2020 will mark 10yrs since I became a Swiftie. To have watched her grow so much 😭🤧 I really couldn’t be any more proud.

  9. let me get this straight; taylor has yet received another undeserved award and yet continues to use her time up on stage to drag people who aren’t involved in her situation.
    – she literally just admitted that she offered all of her masters to scooter herself.
    – her selective feminism keeps jumping out.
    – she sends her swiffer dusters into a frenzy to attack other artists in the most vile and disgusting way.
    – only defends other women when it benefits her and her image.
    – silenced nicki about her AMA nominated being snubbed
    – is a clout/social climber
    – embodies FAKE wokeness
    – throws hissy fits to make a point
    – isn’t mature to work with in anyway possible.
    -manipulates the media to always make her look good and others look bad.

    oh yeah miss stiff really deserves another award.

    not being pressed but is taylor really the artist that has gassed us up for the last decade????? is this a joke? she ain’t it. sorry not sorry.

  10. Wow!! What an amazing person. She announced the name of people she sees potential in, which is so inspiring for young artists. She also called out the names if people who wronged her. That right there is a strong woman. May you achieve and create more milestones in future.

  11. i hope she gets her masters…. its going to be a hell of a fight… im in her corner… but its not just women in music that are in this fight…. its a system that both women and men face in the industry… seclusion is not ideal. artists are artists… male, female

  12. Gorgeous , 12/14/19 , Gorgeous , can you imagine just about anyone else giving this speech without the need of censorship ? Only Gorgeous can on this very serious subject .

  13. WOW. What an absolute queen. She's been in the limelight since the age of 16 and has still managed to stay incredibly down-to-earth and genuine. She's using her influential position as much as she can to try and fix inequality in both the music industry and in society. Throughout the decade, she's had breakthrough after breakthrough and has stayed so selfless and humble – not once have I heard her unnecessarily brag or be rude. I've been a HUGE fan of her music and her from the age of 5, and 11 years later, it's been amazing growing up with her. You deserve this Taylor xxx

  14. AN EASTER EGG IS ON HER NAILS!! The Alternation of GREEN AND RED nail polish could mean…. TAYLOR’S GONNA RELEASE A CHRISTMAS ALBUM!!!!!

  15. Women coming for Taylor for speaking her truth in this are the reason why women get treated like crap in life in general. You don’t have to like her to support what she is saying. Truth is she’s speaking out for you, but you still chose let men tell you what to do. Go Taylor ❤️

  16. am i the only one who stopped breathing for a second cos they wondered whether taylor was gonna say the name of lana’s new album lolz

  17. Could someone giver her praise for her brave speeches?? She's fearless, honest and herself when she speaks in front of crowds!

  18. Whenever she paused, waiting for the audience to clap, i cringed.🙈 But still that speech was deep and every point so valid!

  19. As a die hard Taylor fan, I am a little objective on the private equity comment. It is a fact that they want your talent, but you need their money right? Yes you are successful so you can ditch them, like some successful people ditch their first husband/wife, that doesn't mean they have to get nothing, no one really knows how much scooter offers tay, or he just wants to own the masters no matter how much he gets paid? No one really knows the contract detail.

  20. How can we give this chick woman of the decade? We haven't even seen her tits yet. Does you have good tits? I'm waiting, honey.

  21. the only reason why this self-made, creative, hardworking, selfless, wise, intelligent, generous, humble, caring, inspiring and unstoppable woman has any haters is because people are jealous of how successful she is

  22. Fuck off with your toxic masculinity bullshit, it's us men who died by the millions in the war so you people can walk around talking garbage and making up fairy tails.

  23. Omg Taylor! I love you so much and I'm so happy for you. YOU GO GIRL! you'll always be my favorite. I have no idea where i would be today, without you.

  24. Dear Taylor, there is a decade between us (I am older 😉) and still, from the moment I first heard you, I felt in love with your talent, intelligence, courage, smile and especially with your big heart and loving for everyone. Thank you so much for spending time with me in my car, home, workout, cleaning and in my head. I am almost 42 years and yet it’s feels like every song of yours meet me somewhere in my life. In this day, I wish you to keep being you and keep doing your way and what’s make you Happy :))💝

  25. Men are the least priviliged and most scorned group and the last to receive empathy and understanding. The fact that men have been taught to be gentlemen is "condescending" and the few who are dicks, all others get blame for aswell. Honestly fkin shame on you guys, gloating in your OWN privilege, pitying yourself whilst there is an EPIDEMIC of white male suicide, just because you have been taught it's hip. TWEE

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