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Taylor Swift gives fans ‘permission to fail’ during speech at iHeartRadio Music Awards

Written by on March 28, 2023

Taylor Swift urged fans to give themselves “permission to fail” as she accepted the Innovator honour at the 2023 iHeartRadio Music Awards on Monday night.

The Shake It Off singer took to the stage at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles to collect the honour from Phoebe Bridgers following a video tribute montage featuring the likes of Ed Sheeran, Selena Gomez, and Dolly Parton.

“I never woke up in the morning and thought, ‘You know what I’m gonna do today? I’m gonna go innovate some stuff. Things need to be innovated and I’m gonna be the one that does it,'” Taylor jokingly began. “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.

“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. I’m very privileged because have backed me up in a lot of the choices I’ve made.”

The 33-year-old then referenced her switch from country to pop in 2014 and her ongoing plan to re-record her first six albums.

She also noted that she has made plenty of bad ideas in addition to her good ones.

“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 stated. “I try as hard as I can not to fail ’cause 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 and someday someone might think you’ve been innovative.”

The singer won four other awards during the show, including Song of the Year and Best Lyrics for Anti-Hero.

Pink was the night’s other honouree. The Icon Award recipient was celebrated with a medley featuring her singing Just Give Me a Reason with Kelly Clarkson. Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo also took part in the musical tribute.


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