It’s the moment everyone’s talking about: In a rare public appearance to present the historic award, 55-year-old Dion, stricken with a debilitating and terrifying terminal illness, was shaken off by the billionaire hit maker and totally ignored while Swift indulged in a self-congratulatory love-in with her posse on stage.
Cue cutesy ‘secret handshakes’ and drawn-out hugs with long-term producer Jack Antonoff and current best gal pal Lana Del Ray.
‘A legend in her prime right now,’ Swift gushed of Lana, after she’d thanklessly grabbed the trophy from Dion – clearly not held in the same esteem.
The award was largely expected – but it didn’t deter Swift’s faux wide-eyed and open-mouthed look of ‘shock’. Who, me?
Of course, such arrogant displays in the ego-laden world of planet pop are nothing new, but this snub particularly stung.
The Heart Will Go On crooner was appearing in an official capacity at a public event for the first time since her shattering 2022 diagnosis of stiff person syndrome – a rare autoimmune neurological disorder which typically causes muscle stiffness and painful spasms.
Taylor’s big fat diss to a frail and reclusive icon isn’t a good look – and the 34-year old’s actions have been rightly called out.
Tellingly, it exposes the whiff of hypocrisy and self-interest that lurks behind Swift’s money-making juggernaut, propelled by catchy songs, a string of famous boyfriends and a narrative of female empowerment with much steer put on women supporting women.
‘I think that one thing that I do believe as a feminist is that in order for us to have gender equality, we have to stop making it a girl fight and we have to stop being so interested in seeing girls trying to tear each other down, it has to be more about cheering each other on as women,’ she once trilled.
Pity that, in reality, such sisterly support appears to be selectively given.
Dion herself is a five-time Grammy recipient with 230 million record sales worldwide, and has never required a conveyor belt of press-friendly hook-ups for attention or lyrical inspiration.
Perhaps, buoyed by overwhelming recent success, Swift was simply in no mood to share the limelight and acknowledge another, far-better established legacy.
Perhaps she’s starting to believe her own hype. Who wouldn’t?
Setting out her stall with a late arrival to Sunday’s ceremony, she strode into a night that was very much a me, me, me celebration, marinating in her frenzied fans’ fervent belief that she is the only true living trailblazer.
Is it any surprise she feels invincible on the back of the year she became a billionaire, was named TIME magazine’s Person of The Year and saw her world Eras tour draw three million to its US leg alone.
Not to mention the new boyfriend, NFL dreamboat Travis Kelce – who provides the perfect opportunity for Swift to play out her latest love story, cheering on from the sidelines – though never far from the cameras – in a new set of stadiums.
Meanwhile, there’s her growing political influence, with commentators suggesting a 2024 endorsement of Joe Biden would actually tip the fate of the election in his favor.
Of course, this level of stardom comes as no surprise to her loyal ranks of Swifties – largely made up of young girls who bankroll her stratospheric ambitions while thinking they’re in on the party.
There’s no doubt her appeal is rooted in accessibility: the image of a more natural, wholesome antidote to the inflated lips and more aggressive sexuality of her pop peers.
This is perhaps her most powerful weapon, but it also belies a more calculated, ruthless side that seeped through at the Grammys, where – as the champagne flowed – so did the full extent of her ego.
The truth is: Swift is not remotely ordinary or accessible as a 34-year-old billionairess who has reached the top in the cutthroat world of entertainment.
Armed with the financial nous of her banker father, her rise has been carefully, perfectly orchestrated.
A favorite weapon has been her association with celebrities – high-profile friendships with other photogenic A-listers from Selena Gomez, to Cara Delevingne and Karlie Kloss. Many don’t last the season.
But for all her supposedly feminist credentials, Swift remains largely defined by famous men: Joe Jonas, Harry Styles, Tom Hiddleston – who all became her boyfriends, coincidentally as their own stars were very much in ascendance.
Her many breakups have provided much ink for her typewriter – fueling a songbook packed full of punchy ripostes to those she’s left in her wake.
Which brings us to her latest album – announced Sunday night on stage – ‘The Tortured Poets Department’.
Fans and online sleuths have already linked the title – and the names of several tracks like ‘So Long, London’, ‘I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can)’, and ‘The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived’ – to British actor Joe Alwyn, her most recent ex.
Their 2023 break-up came after a six-year love that many hoped would last.
While reports have been minimal, it is thought the reason behind the split was a common one: they simply wanted different things. Namely, Alwyn is intensely protective of his privacy, while Swift wanted to take her career to a very public next level.
How kind then, how respectful of six years shared, to throw your dirty laundry to the rabid Swifties, ready for very public dissection, doxing and social media dog-fighting.
Naturally, Swift’s team were immediately on to damage control after Sunday’s awards mishap – arranging a backstage photo-op that saw Taylor with a rictus grin and hanging off Celine like new best buds.
Dion was presumably too well-mannered to say what we are all thinking.