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Taylor Swift Says to ‘Give Yourself Permission to Fail’ as She Accepts iHeartRadio Innovator Award

Taylor Swift: the Innovator. On Monday, Swift was awarded the Innovator award by her good friend Phoebe Bridgers during the iHeartRadio Music Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. This is the first time the award has been given since 2019.

Wearing a sparkling black bodysuit with a hood, Swift took the stage to hug Bridgers and celebrate the win.

“I do want to say that the thing with these exciting nights and moments and specifically this award that I’m so lucky to have gotten is that they’re shining a light on the choices I made that worked out. Right? The ones that turned out to be good ideas,” she said. “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 continued. “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. Go easy on yourselves and just make the right choices that feel right for you. And someday someone might think that you’ve been innovative. Thank you so much for this.”

Swift also spoke about making unprecedented choices, saying, “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.”

Bridgers took the stage to introduce the singer, and celebrate Swift’s songwriting, saying that she was “grateful of growing up in a world with Taylor Swift in it, or The World (Taylor’s Version).”

After Bridgers, the show shared a powerful sizzle reel of celebrities, including Dolly Parton, Selena Gomez, Justin Timberlake, Ed Sheeran, Simu Liu, Simon Biles, and others sharing compliments for the musician.

“‘Anti-Hero’ is one of the best pop songs ever written,” Sheeran said. “Her stories are her songs and I think now that’s the norm.”

“She can represent what she’s working through so well,” added Gomez. “Being a role model isn’t something you sign up for, it’s something you inherently have inside of you, and I think that’s Taylor.”

Swift joins a cohort of artists such as Pharrell, Justin Timberlake, U2, Chance the Rapper, Bruno Mars, and Alicia Keys who have accepted the award since it was first handed out in 2014.

This year, Swift is nominated for a whooping seven awards. She’s up for Artist of the Year and Best Fan Army, while her song “Anti-Hero” is nominated for Song of the Year, Best Lyrics, and Best Music Video. Midnights‘ “Bejeweled” is up for TikTok Bop of the Year and “Question…?” is nominated for Favorite Use of a Sample. (It samples Swift’s own “Out of the Woods.”)

It’s been a massive year for Swift, who kickstarted her long-anticipated Eras Tour in Arizona last weekend after dropping her record-breaking LP Midnights late last year.

Related: How to Get a Discount on Taylor Swift Tickets Online

Swift is a longtime iHeartRadio Music Awards favorite. She currently holds the record as the solo artist with the most iHeartRadio Music Awards, where she has previously taken home 14 trophies. Among her wins are Artist of the Year in 2015 and Female Artist of the Year in 2016 and 2018.


1989 won Album of the Year in 2016, while her LPs Lover and Folklore each won Pop Album of the Year in 2020 and 2021 consecutively.

Hosted by Lenny Kravitz, the iHeartRadio Music Awards are airing live on Fox. Pink also accepted a major award on Monday as the recipient of the Icon Award. Pink is one of the performers for the event, which includes sets from Cody Johnson, Coldplay, Latto, Muni Long, and Keith Urban.

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