Taylor Swift has been a global icon for years now, but the 2021 BRITs made it official by giving the 31-year-old its Global Icon Award on Tuesday at the O2 in London.
Swift accepted the honor in person, and after thanking all of the appropriate people—even a coy "Joe" shoutout for her famously very private long-time boyfriend Joe Alwyn!—she finished her speech by encouraging others to push beyond the inevitable doubt and negativity that comes when chasing a dream.
The 11-time Grammy winner said:
"If there is one thing that I've learned it's that you have to look around you every day and take note of the people who have always believed in you and never stop appreciating them for it—never take them for granted. There are so many incredible new artists in this room tonight and a lot of people watching who have goals and ambitions and dreams for themselves. I need you to hear me when I say that there is no career path that comes free of negativity.
"If you're being met with resistance, that probably means that you're doing something new. If you're experiencing turbulence or pressure, that probably means you're rising. And there might be times where you put your whole heart and soul into something, and it is met with cynicism or skepticism. You cannot let you crush you; you have to let it fuel you because we live in a world where anyone has the right to say anything that they want about you at any time. But just please remember that you have the right to prove them wrong."
Swift has had an especially productive 10 months, releasing three albums: Folklore in July 2020 that was followed by its sister album Evermore in December 2020, and then Fearless (Taylor's Version)—a history-making re-recording (in more than one sense) of her 2008 sophomore studio album that included six new tracks—last month. All three projects hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart.