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Taylor Swift at the 2022 VMAs
Taylor Swift at the 2022 VMAs
Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images
Culture > Entertainment

Will Taylor Swift Perform At The 2023 VMAs? Fans Have Theories

Fall is synonymous with many things. For some, it’s the time to defrost the annual Gilmore Girls binge. For others, it’s the season of football Sundays. For the pop culture-obsessed and celebrity lovers, it’s awards season. With the 2023 VMAs airing Sept. 12, music fans are anticipating who will win, perform, and most of all, show up — and the Swifties are itching to see if their favorite blondie is among that list. 

Taylor Swift’s motto should be “expect the unexpected.” In the Swiftieverse, there is no time to breathe with all her Easter eggs. After dropping her 1989 (Taylor’s Version) announcement and then an upcoming Eras Tour movie, Swift’s fans have been trained to always be prepared for surprises, and they are hoping that an appearance from her at the 2023 VMAs is next on the list. 

It seems making history is in Swift’s blood because she is the top nominated artist for the 2023 VMAs. She is up for eleven nominations, including Artist of the Year. Beyond just being there to collect her awards, Swifties have one burning question: Will Swift perform at the VMAs? With her VMAs history and current nominations, there might be a chance — fingers crossed! 

At the 2022 VMAs, Swift made a surprise appearance. 

If Taylor Swift had a history book, the 2009 and 2022 VMAs would have their own chapters. Back in 2009, the infamous Kanye moment commenced. Swift was on stage accepting the award for Best Female Video for her song “You Belong With Me” when Kanye West decided to steal her moment by taking the mic and declaring Beyoncé as the artist who should’ve won the award. This night is ingrained in Swiftie history.

You would think this moment couldn’t be topped, but never underestimate our Easter egg queen. In 2022, there was no word on if Swift would be attending the award show as it had been three years since her last VMAs appearance in 2019. Swifties were manifesting that the singer would show up and their work paid off because  she made a surprise appearance on the red carpet. The surprises didn’t end there. Last year, Swift was up for five awards, including Video of the Year for “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version).” She made history when she collected her third Video of the Year win for “All Too Well,” but the most historic part of the night was when she announced her 10th album Midnights during her acceptance speech. 

If 2023 is following in 2022’s footsteps, there’s a possibility fans will see Swift on the red carpet, and there’s only one thing that can top last year’s surprise: A VMAs performance. However, there is no official word on whether or not she’s performing, but signs are looking good for Swifties, including her recent whereabouts. 

Fans have theories that Swift will attend and perform at the 2023 VMAs. 

With Swift back in New York before the international leg of her Eras Tour kicks off in November, fans are holding out hope that she will carry on her recent performance run at the 2023 VMAs, which takes place in New Jersey. On top of that, members of the Swift multiverse are taking over the award show, with Selena Gomez up for nominations, Sabrina Carpenter performing at the pre-show, and Nicki Minaj emceeing. With all the promising signals, fans are taking to X to share their theories about her rumored performance.

If there was a delulu scale, Swifties would be at the top and I love them for that. The latest delusions: A Reputation (Taylor’s Version) announcement and more tour dates. (Honestly, a Rep (TV) announcement would be kind of iconic, if you ask me, considering her 2009 VMAs past). 

With all of Swift’s nominations and being on a touring break, fans are convinced that she will be attending this year’s VMAs. 

… and maybe even bring out a special guest for a performance.

Though there might not be a clear answer on whether or not Swift is performing or even attending the 2023 VMAs, one thing for certain is that Swift loves surprises and this one doesn’t seem too far-fetched. 

For now, we must wait. So put on your friendship bracelets and grab your popcorn because the VMAs are just around the corner. 

Hannah Tolley is a contributing writer under the Entertainment and Culture vertical. She covers entertainment releases, fan theories, pop culture news, and more. Aside from Her Campus, Hannah was also a member of the Florida State University (FSU) Her Campus team. During her time with the chapter, she served as a staff writer for three semesters, where she wrote biweekly pieces across campus, culture, and personal verticals. She also was a content editor for two semesters, where she led a team of 6+ writers and oversaw and edited their articles. Hannah was also an editorial intern for Her Campus during her spring and summer term of her second year in college. As an intern, she worked alongside the full-time edit team to curate timely and evergreen pieces across life, culture, career, and style verticals. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from FSU in May 2023, with a Bachelor of Science in Media/Communication Studies with a minor in English. When she's not dissecting the latest pop culture events, you can find her reading a cheesy romance novel or establishing parasocial relationships with fictional TV characters. She loves to rewatch her favorite shows (Gilmore Girls, One Tree Hill, and Friends) or spend the day going down a rabbit hole of reality dating shows.