And the wheels started spinning at the 2016 Grammys, with Swift spending part of her AOTY acceptance speech for her album 1989 taking a swipe at West’s lyrics saying he had ‘made’ Swift famous.
“To all the young women out there, there are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success, and try to take credit for your accomplishments and your fame,” she said in her speech.
“It was you and the people who love you who put you [where you are].”
Plenty of people sided with Swift, but there was a vocal fringe of people who accused the singer of playing the victim at the expense of Black artists.
The conversations around Swift also noted that she had won the 2016 Grammy over Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly, an album with an immense cultural impact.
Like 2016, this year Swift won over a woman of colour who many say deserved the honour more: SZA’s album SOS.
“Black artists, specifically women, can put NUMBERS on the scoreboard, generate entire cultural movements, outperform, and out-talent,” one user posted on X about Swift’s win.
“Giving Album Of The Year to Midnights over SOS is almost as bad as when Harry’s House won over Renaissance…like what do black women in music have to do at this point.”
Whether Swift deserved the honour or not is something only the Recording Academy can answer for, but the energy directed at Swift has notably shifted.