Taylor Swift returns to roots with performance at Academy of Country Music Awards

In a long-awaited comeback, Taylor Swift took the stage at the Academy of Country Music Awards for the first time in seven years. Simply sitting on a well-lit stool, her hair, makeup and styling done all by herself, Swift returned to her country roots and reminded everyone of her superb songwriting skills.

Following CBS’ announcement that Swift would be joining the long lineup of performers, fans were abuzz, talking about what the performance would consist of. There were even whispers of Swift finally revealing who the mysterious co-writer William Bowery is during the performance. 

Swift’s vocals rang out clear and sweet as she belted out lyrics of a high school romance gone wrong from her song “betty” off her new album, “folklore.” With intricate choreography and beat-heavy instrumentals stripped away, Swift’s voice never missed a beat and her guitar playing was flawless.

Taylor Swift performing during the Speak Now World Tour. ‘Speak Now’ and ‘Red’ were the last albums to be nominated at the ACMs. (Eva Rinaldi / Creative Commons)

While some critics may have thought Swift had sailed away from her country origins into a sea of pop, longtime fans know that she never strayed from the trademark lyricism that made her a country darling.

While rumors of a surprise guest joining her were squashed, a mysterious harmonica player was shown in the shadows multiple times during the performance, an appearance that will undoubtedly have fans talking for days to come.

Simple and heartfelt, Swift has proven once more that she is indeed, the music industry