Is Taylor Swift Planning Something Major for Her AMAs Performance?

National enigma Taylor Swift is up to something. Maybe.

We can never be quite sure what Swift doing these days, mostly because she's got the hardest working PR team in showbiz (well, it's at least on par with Beyoncé's). Every little thing she does is calculated, though it's not like we can blame her given the media storms she's weathered during her 12 years in the public eye, where everything from her relationships to her music to her sugar-coated outlook on life have been picked apart. (And who can forget that little spat with Kanye West and, inadvertently, Kim Kardashian.)

You may have noticed that she's been cropping up in the headlines once more, and, being the internet sleuths that we are, we can't help but wonder if there's an end game to the subtle flow of publicity.

Here, we present the evidence that she's priming us all for something big.

Public outings with boyfriend Joe Alwyn

Remember the summer of HiddleSwift? (That's the portmanteau bestowed upon Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston, in case the summer of 2016 is a blur to you.) There were beach vacations, porch lap-sitting sessions and Hiddleston's now-infamous t-shirt with his beau's initials on them — all immortalized on Instagram.

Well, since then, Swift has changed her tune when it comes to PDA. Though she's been linked to Alwyn since last year, she's stayed very private about her relationship, save for allusions to her actor boyfriend in her last album, reputation.

Since then, she has stepped out only a handful of times for public date nights — and they've all been relatively recent outings. If we know anything about Taylor, it's that she's a professional when it comes to avoiding the paparazzi, so if she didn't want to be photographed (and thus, sparking headlines), she would have organized back door entrances. And she certainly wouldn't have invited magazine magnet Jennifer Lawrence along for the ride, either.

Celebrity Sightings in New York City - September 28, 2018
Robert Kamau/Getty Images

Maybe the date nights were Joe's idea, since he has a movie out and could use a bit of extra publicity. But, then again, the upcoming flick, The Favourite, stars a slew of women with arguably higher star power (Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone and Olivia Colman — yep, all in the same film!), so it's not like he was necessarily desperate for publicity, either.

Public political endorsements

Before the past weekend, there were two things we could hold to be true about Taylor Swift: 1. She is a big time Cat Person and 2. She's wouldn't touch politics with a ten-foot pole. Our worlds were thusly rocked when the 28-year-old took to Instagram to endorse Democrat Phil Bredesen for the senate seat in Tennessee over his Republican opponent, Marsha Blackburn.

A performance at the AMAs

Despite releasing an album at the end of 2017, Taylor has hit only one major red carpet this year: The 2018 Billboard Music Awards, which marked her first appearance on a step-and-repeat in nearly 2 years. When it came time for the VMAs in August, she was like, "nah" — though that might have to do with the fact that she was shut out of the major awards categories, nominated only for technical achievement.

Last week, however, it was announced that she would not only be showing up at the American Music Awards, which are taking place on Tuesday evening, but she's performing, too. It helps that she's nominated for Best Artist, Best Pop/Rock Female Artist, Best Album and Best Tour, but it's a surprise nonetheless, considering her last performance at the AMAs was in 2014.

All of the above beg the question: Taylor, what are you cooking?

Some guesses:

New music

This is by far the most obvious guess, but it might be a bit too soon to expect anything from the singer considering she released reputation just under a year ago. (For reference, she waited three years to put out reputation following 2014's 1989.) According to Billboard, however, Swift hinted at putting out a new record before she turns 30 at the end of 2019, so a tease-y single could be on the horizon.

That said, it's also good to keep in mind that she's been kind of busy with that whole world tour thing. Speaking of ...

She needs to sell more tickets

This is purely speculation, of course, but one way to get fans to snatch up her tickets is to remind them that, hello, she exists. Swift's reemergence into tabloid spotlight could be her way of advertising her current show, especially considering that tickets are, in fact, still available. And even if fans can't make it to a show, there's still big money in tour merch, which can be purchased online.

A relationship bombshell

Is she taking a cue from Beyoncé and Cardi B before her by using her stage (perhaps at the AMAs) not to reveal a pregnancy, but an engagement? *Strokes chin.*

She's gearing up for the Cats press tour

We can't tell who is more brilliant: Swift, for accepting perhaps the most on-brand movie one could possibly think of for the 28-year-old singer/bonafide Cat Person, or director Tom Hooper for casting her in the movie remake of the hit Andrew Lloyd Weber musical. The movie has no release date as of yet, though it's slated to hit theaters some time in 2019.

A political run

We acknowledge that this one's a stretch, but stranger things than "Taylor 2020" have happened. Plus, could you imagine a Taylor vs. Kanye debate?

There's no denying her reach, either. The Washington Post reported that following Swift's political endorsement, the number of voter registration applications surged. Though it's unclear if Swift was the root of the cause of the spike, the Post also reports that Vote.org — the nonpartisan website that she called out in her Instagram saw a huge uptick in daily visitors, up from the average 14,078 to 155,940.

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