Taylor Swift has ended her yearslong performing absence from the Academy of Country Music Awards with a live performance of “Betty” from her latest album Folklore.
For her first performance at the ACM Awards in seven years, Swift gave “Betty” its live acoustic premiere, accompanied only by a harmonica player sitting a responsible distance away from her.
Swift wrote “Betty” from the point of view of a 17-year-old boy who “has lost the love of his life basically and doesn’t understand how to get it back,” she said in an interview in August, per Vulture.
She added, “I think we all have these situations in our lives where we learn to really, really give a heartfelt apology for the first time… I’ve always loved that in music you can kinda slip into different identities and you can sing from other people’s perspectives. So that’s what I did on this one.”
In July, the pop star surprise-released Folklore, an indie folk album she worked on in quarantine with The National’s Aaron Dessner, Bon Iver and frequent collaborator Jack Antonoff.
It followed her 2019 album Lover, which featured the songs “Me!,” “You Need to Calm Down,” “The Archer” and the title track. Earlier this year, Swift was the subject of the Netflix documentary Miss Americana, which featured the new song “Only the Young.”
Watch Swift’s rendition of “Betty” below: