The 2020 VMAs voters proved they are Lover lovers.
Before Taylor Swift was walking in the woods wearing a cardigan, the pop star was donning shockingly good drag in her music video, “The Man,” for her track off her 2019 album, Lover. The video, which doubled as Swift’s directorial debut, saw the singer dressed as a man, showing how much easier life would be without the inescapable weight of systemic misogyny.
At this year’s awards show, Swift won Best Direction for her directorial debut in a category ruled by women, with three of the six nominees being female. Swift was up against Billie Eilish for “Xanny,” and Hannah Lux Davis for Doja Cat’s “Say So.” The first woman to be nominated for best direction was Mary Lambert in 1985, and it wasn’t until 2016 when Melina Matsoukas was the first woman to win without a co-director, for helming Beyoncé’s “Formation.”
In her selfie-shot acceptance speech, Swift thanked everyone on the crew involved with the production of the video. She also gave a special shout-out to Jill Skinner and Rebecca Hardin, two producers who convinced her to direct “The Man.” And of course, she shouted out the fans.
“You are the only reason why the industry cares about anything that I do,” she said. “And everything that you guys have done with Folklore this summer, I’m just so blown away and taken aback by your generosity to me.”
According to the “Shake It Off” singer, the killer drag transformation was no easy feat: She spent “four to six hours every day in the makeup chair” with her drag-proficient makeup artist Bill Corso.
This year Swift walked away with the Best Direction moon person, and at the 2019 VMAs her video for “You Need to Calm Down” won Video of the Year. She stepped behind the camera again for her most recent music video, “Cardigan” off of her surprise eighth album, Folklore.
The 2020 VMAs have kicked off across MTV’s linear and digital platforms, as well as with several outdoor performances around New York City. Find the complete winners list here and everything else you need to know at vma.mtv.com.