The accolade marked the 11th VMA for the pop icon, who thanked her female producers who assisted her on the project, as well as her dedicated global fanbase.
“This is the very first video that I ever directed on my own and I’m so grateful for this,” Swift, 30, said, acknowledging her two female producers on the project who helped her gain the confidence to direct the video.
“I wanted to take a moment to say thank you to the team who believed in me as a first-time director and made this video with me.”
The “Folklore” singer went on to speak out to her beloved Swifties, saying their unwavering support is “the only reason that the industry cares” about anything she does.
“I was told this is an industry voted award, so I want to say everyone in the industry who voted for this video,” the four-time Grammy winner stated.
“I also really want to thank the fans because you are the only reason that the industry cares about anything I do. Everything you guys have done with Folklore this summer, I’m just so blown away and taken aback by your generosity to me.”
She added, “So thank you for everything. I hope I get to see you soon.”
It comes nearly one year after Swift’s public dispute with Justin Bieber’s music manager Scooter Braun after he forked out $330 million to purchase her former label, Big Machine, which essentially gave him ownership over the first six studio albums by Taylor Swift.
In December 2019, the “Shake It Off” hitmaker opened up about this kind of “shift” in the industry.
“I feel [it] is a potentially harmful force in our industry. And, as your resident loud person, I feel the need to bring it up. And that is the unregulated world of private equity coming in and buying up our music as if it was real estate — as if it’s an app or a shoe line,” she stated at the Billboard Women in Music event.
“This just happened to me, without my approval, consultation or consent. … After I was denied the chance to purchase my music outright, my entire catalogue was sold,” Swift continued. “And yet, to this day, none of these investors have ever bothered to contact me or my team directly to perform their due diligence on their investment in me to ask how I might feel about the new owner of my art, my music, my handwriting.”