Taylor Swift calls out haters, thanks fans in feisty iHeartRadio Awards speech

When Taylor Swift accepted her Tour of the Year trophy at the sixth annual iHeartRadio Awards Thursday, she was quick to point out that many doubters had thought her wildly successful, 53-date 2018 Reputation tour would actually be a box-office bomb.

Swift began her speech by saying, “So, I think one of the most wonderful things about the way that this whole tour turned out is that for like the entire six months leading up to the first show of this tour, every headline that I read about the tour was, ‘This is going to be a massive failure. This is going to be a flop tour.'” She then added sarcastically, “And it really did wonders for my self-esteem. It was really great to hear people saying that I was going to be playing to nearly empty stadiums.”

Instead, as Swift’s friend Maren Morris noted when presenting the Tour of the Year award, “Not only did [Swift] break her own record for highest-grossing U.S. tour headlined by a woman, but the Reputation tour set a new record for highest-grossing U.S. tour in history.”

Taylor Swift arrives at the iHeartRadio Music Awards in Los Angeles on March 14, 2019. (Photo: Reuters/ Mario Anzuoni)
Taylor Swift arrives at the iHeartRadio Music Awards in Los Angeles on March 14, 2019. (Photo: Reuters/ Mario Anzuoni)

“I’ve learned a lot,” Swift continued in her speech. “One of the things I’ve learned is that life is really unpredictable. People can make forecasts and they can make predictions … predictions and forecasts may not come true if there is an unforeseeable factor involved, and that unforeseeable factor in this case was my fans. I honestly owe everything in my life to you. … You guys are the reason why this tour — the only reason why this tour — wasn’t a massive failure, and why it ended up being the highest-selling tour in U.S. history.”

In 2018, Swift’s Reputation tour broke multiple attendance and box-office records previously held by stadium acts like Metallica, One Direction, and U2. Swift even broke her own record for the highest-grossing North American tour by a female artist, which she previously set with the tour for her 1989 album.

Swift wrapped up her iHeartRadio Awards speech by addressing rumors that a Reputation follow-up album will soon be on the way, telling the loyal fans who bought all those 2018 tour tickets, “I just wanted to let you know that when there is new music, you will be the first to know.”

The 2019 iHeartRadio Awards took place Thursday at Los Angeles’s Microsoft Theater and featured performances by Artist of the Decade winner Garth Brooks; Artist of the Year winner Ariana Grande; Halsey with Travis Barker and Yungblud; Kacey Musgraves with Coldplay’s Chris Martin; Alicia Keys accompanied by her 8-year-old son, Egypt; John Legend; the Backstreet Boys; and Best New Artist nominees Ella Mai, Marshmello, Lauv and Lovelytheband.

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