There's a blank space in Taylor Swift's tour schedule for good reason.
The "Lavender Haze" singer—who is currently in the throes of the U.S. leg of her Eras Tour—stepped back from the stage for one evening to attend the 2023 iHeartRadio Music Awards on March 27. For the ceremony held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, Swift made our wildest dreams come true when she arrived wearing a glittering hooded ensemble.
The 33-year-old received the 2023 iHeartRadio Innovator Award, of which past honorees include Alicia Keys, Pharrell Williams and Justin Timberlake, to name a few.
"I never a single time woke up in the morning and thought, ‘You know what I'm going to do today? I'm going to go innovate some stuff. Things need to be innovated and I'm going to be the one that does it,'" Swift shared onstage. "But what I did do was try to make the right decision for me at the time, whether or not it had ever been successfully done before."
Taylor Swift's Stunning The Eras Tour Stage Costumes
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She continued, "I think maybe that might be the key, because often times, in any industry, people are looking for a precedent or, you know, data that shows this idea is a good one or a feasible one. People want an example of something working before. But I think the coolest ideas or moves or choices are the new ones, the ones that set a new precedent."
Swift then thanked her fans who have "backed me up" in her decisions, including her choices to switch genres and re-record her old music.
She ended by offering an inspiring message to her younger fans on the lessons of failure.
"I really really want everyone to know, especially young people, that the hundreds or thousands of dumb ideas that I've had are what led me to my good ideas. You have to give yourself permission to fail," she shared. "I try as hard as I can not to fail, because it's embarrassing, but I do give myself permission to and you should, too. So go easy on yourselves and just make the right choices that feel right for you."
An iHeartRadio press release, published March 7, noted that Swift has "created music that for years has topped the charts at multiple formats, while creating groundbreaking tours, including 2019's Reputation Stadium Tour the highest-grossing US tour in history... and 2023's The Eras Tour, which broke records for single-day ticket sales."
Not to mention, as the streaming service noted, her single, "Anti-Hero" is currently the most played song across iHeartRadio platforms. But it's more than just Swift's music as to the reason why this particular award belongs with her.
"Along with her artistic success, Taylor's generosity and philanthropy have inspired millions," the press release shared. "She's an advocate for women's rights and the LGBTQ+ community, using her music and platform to inspire young people to use their voting power."
Swift's big honor comes just days after she returned to the stage for her first tour since 2018. The Grammy winner kicked off her new concert series with her first show in Glendale, Arizona, on March 17, performing 44 songs spanning her nearly two decade career—including "Shake It Off, "I Knew You Were Trouble" and "Blank Space."
She's still set go out in style on stage over the next few months in several cities including Atlanta, Los Angeles, Houston and Chicago, among others.