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MTV VMAs: Taylor Swift opens show with 'You Need to Calm Down'

By
Wade Sheridan
Taylor Swift performs at the 36th annual MTV Video Music Awards Monday. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Taylor Swift performs at the 36th annual MTV Video Music Awards Monday. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 26 (UPI) -- Taylor Swift kicked off the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards on Monday with a colorful and high-energy performance.

The pop star began with "You Need to Calm Down" alongside a number of backup dancers and a giant rainbow. Viewers at home were treated to other 3D graphics.

Swift then got more serious and donned a sparkling blazer to perform "Lover." The performance had the packed VMA audience waving their hands back and fourth in unison.

The background imagery included a night sky with a moon.

The performance comes after Swift released her seventh studio album on Friday, Lover. The album contains 18 tracks including "The Archer" and "ME!" featuring Brendon Urie.

Swift and Ariana Grande lead all artists with 10 nominations each including Video of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Pop for Swift's "You Need to Calm Down" and Grande's "thank u, next," respectively.

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Inside the MTV VMAs

Missy Elliott performs her hits "The Rain," "Get Ur Freak On," "Hot Boyz," "Work It," "WTF (Where They From)" and "Lose Control." Elliott was given the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

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