Taylor Swift made her grand return to the Academy of Country Music Awards with a dazzling performance of "betty." The popular track off her surprise eighth studio album had never been performed until her first performance in seven years at the ACMs. The song debuted at No. 6 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs. When she premiered the song on the country charts, Swift said she drew inspiration from writing as a 17-year-old boy, and at the core of the music, it's about how "everybody really messes up sometimes."
After beginning as a chart-topping country music sensation, Swift began to drift into the world of pop, even going in a more alternative direction with her Folklore album. With "betty" Swift could tap back into her country roots with a harmonica-fueled song that shows off her piano playing ability. While she had become a stranger to the ACMs, Swift certainly left her mark in the event with 30 nominations in her career and eight wins. In 2007, Swift won New Female Vocalist of the Year. Her most recognized moment at the ceremony came in 2015 when she was honored with the 50th Anniversary Milestone Award. In 2019, she popped back up on the nomination sheet for her part in Sugarland's "Babe."
Accompanying her announcement in July of the surprise album, Swift wrote in her post she had a change of plans — as many did in 2020 — and decided to put together a new collection of songs that she says "started with imagery" and took off from there.
From "Cardigan" to "Mirrorball," the album showcases Swift's songwriting ability. She admitted she took a unique style in writing from varying perspectives, even intertwining some of the songs into one larger story. "In isolation, my imagination has run wild and this album is the result," she penned in her essay, noting that she told all of the stories and she could have.
The 55th ACM Awards were hosted by Keith Urban after initially scheduled in March but postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic. While Swift isn't up for any awards, there are a handful of female country singers represented in the major categories, including Carrie Underwood up for Entertainer of the Year. She'll face off against Kacey Musgraves, Kelsea Ballerini, Maren Morris and Miranda Lambert for Female Artist of the Year. Morris and Lambert also have their albums up Album of the Year with Musgrave's "Rainbow" contending for Single of the Year.