- Taylor Swift kicked off the 2019Billboard Music Awards on Wednesday with her new single “ME!”
- Her performance was opened by a marching band, each person dressed in pastel pink.
- Many people accused Swift of ripping off Beyoncé’s iconic 2018 Coachella set, which drew inspiration from homecoming traditions at historically black colleges.
- After Swift’s performance, the hashtag #Mayochella began to gain traction on Twitter.
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Taylor Swift’s performance at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards on Wednesday in Las Vegas inspired the trending hashtag #Mayochella, with many fans accusing her of ripping off Beyoncé’s iconic 2018 Coachella performance.
Swift – who sang her new single “ME!” along with Panic! at the Disco’s Brendon Urie – kicked off the awards show in Las Vegas with a pink-clad marching band.
The performance built on the pastel tones and lighthearted aesthetics in Swift’s “ME!” music video, which includes a dance bit with Swift and Urie dressed as marching band drum majors.
When Beyoncé became the first black woman in history to headline Coachella last year, her set was opened in a very similar fashion. The marching band remained behind her throughout the entire performance, which drew inspiration from homecoming traditions at historically black colleges.
Many were quick to point out the similarities and call Swift’s performance a “wannabe” version of Beyoncé’s.
— Alex Holley (@AlexHolleyFOX29) May 2, 2019
— Renaissance Man (@cjfluker) May 2, 2019
— 912 Geechee (@Jadethevirgo) May 2, 2019
“Taylor Swift using the marching band is all calculated,” one person wrote. “She knew what conversation that would start. Her whole talentless career has been media manipulation.”
Taylor Swift brought out the ole tethered marching band eh? pic.twitter.com/IPEWfiBleC
— NOT NOW…IM BUSY (@AwunOfficial) May 2, 2019
Swift fans, however, came to the singer’s defence and noted how Swift used marching band aesthetics in 2009 and 2010 during her “Fearless Tour.”
These onstage looks were largely inspired by her high school-themed “You Belong With Me” music video – which, coincidentally, is the same video that beat out Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” at the 2009 MTVVideo Music Awards and inspired Kanye West’s infamous “I’mma let you finish” speech.
— Nick • Ultraviolet Morning Light (@lostincornelia) May 2, 2019
Lmao all of y’all shitting on Taylor Swift for using a marching band in her performance claiming she’s copying Beyoncé. Taylor already did that back on her Fearless tour. Sit down. pic.twitter.com/JZavQt1Asc
— ☀️ (@hello_itsbi) May 2, 2019
However, this isn’t the first time Swift has been accused of copying Beyoncé. Choreography in the music video for her 2017 single “Look What You Made Me Do” drew comparisons to visuals in Beyoncé’s groundbreaking “Formation” video.
At the time, director Joseph Kahn defended the video he made with Swift, claiming there was no real comparison.
Watch Swift’s full performance at the BBMAs below.