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Taylor Swift Debuts ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’ at 2012 American Music Awards

Taylor Swift
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Taylor Swift debuted her new song ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’ at the 2012 American Music Awards on Sunday (Nov. 18), and she pulled off a bit of a fashion and costume magic act while doing so. It was also a surprising, out-of-the-box, daring and edgy performance from the normally wholesome singer.

For the first half of the song, Swift performed in a pale pink, Disney princess-style dress, and she was surrounded by a bunch of dancers cloaked in all black. The stage setting was a bit gothic, and the 22-year-old starlet even descended a sprawling staircase. For the beginning of her AMAs ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’ performance, she was disconnected from her dancers, doing her own thing as the centerpiece of song.

Then things changed.

Midway through, her poufy pink dress was discarded to reveal a black and red ensemble, complete with a corset and a tulle skirt. It was a tough-looking Taylor — one we’re not that often acquainted with.

This particular performance showed fans a very different side of Swift. America’s sweetheart was anything but while she commandeered the AMAs stage. Instead, it was dark and unexpected.

Swift engaged in a lot of sexy choreography and suggestive dancing with her onstage entourage, and played a bit of a dominant role, grabbing the male dancers, pulling them to her and bumping up against them in a sultry way.

It was a refreshing change to see Swift let her hair down. It might not have impressed her country fanbase as much, but it was an aggressive, unforgettable performance from the singer — one that people will be talking about at work on Monday.

The ‘Red’ superstar also took home the award for Favorite Country Female for the fifth time ever.

Next: See Taylor Swift's Best Dance Moves

Watch Taylor Swift Perform ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’ at the 2012 AMAs

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