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Taylor Swift to open Billboard Awards with performance

/ 08:54 PM April 26, 2019

NEW YORK – Taylor Swift will open next week’s Billboard Music Awards with a performance of her new single “ME!”

Swift released the colorful, upbeat song Friday morning, ending the weekslong search the pop star set off when she teased fans with clues about a new project.

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 Taylor Swift to open Billboard Awards with performance

Taylor Swift attends the Time 100 Gala, celebrating the 100 most influential people in the world, at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center on Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

She will kick off the May 1 awards show at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, where Mariah Carey, Madonna, Maluma, Kelly Clarkson, Paula Abdul and BTS are also performing.

Swift, a 23-time Billboard Award winner, is nominated for top female artist and top touring artist at the show, which will air live on NBC.

Swift released “ME!” — featuring Brendon Urie of Panic! at the Disco — on streaming services and also dropped its eye-popping music video Friday.

It’s the first single from her upcoming seventh album — the follow-up to 2017’s “reputation.”

In an interview with Robin Roberts on Thursday — during the 2019 NFL Draft on ABC — Swift said the song is about “embracing your individuality and really celebrating it.”

“I think that with a pop song we have the ability to get melodies stuck in people’s heads and I just want it to be one that makes (people) feel better about themselves,” she said.

Swift wrote “ME!” with Urie and co-producer Joel Little, the New Zealander best known for producing Lorde’s 2013 debut album, “Pure Heroine.” He has also worked on hits for Imagine Dragons and Khalid.

Swift dropped clues about a new project for several weeks on social media, and her fanatic fans deciphered them and predicted Urie would be featured on the song.

She surprised a few hundred of those fans Thursday when she visited a mural she commissioned in Nashville and thanked them for showing up.

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“I’ve never been more proud of your FBI level detective skills,” she wrote Thursday on Instagram.

She told Roberts that she couldn’t “believe how dedicated” her fans are.

“I can’t believe how much they care — so it makes it more fun for me to create music, to create music videos,” she said. /gsg

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