The stripped down performance featured Swift in a red sequined turtleneck and a loose bun, sitting on a stool and playing guitar. While in recent years the singer has pivoted to pop (and on folklore, alt-indie), the twangy, Bob Dylan-esque stylings of "Betty" have been circulating on country radio. Not only was the vibe a good fit for the ACMs, but the lyrics as well — Swift made sure to make them country music-friendly.
One of the lyrics is supposed to go, “If I just showed up at your party…would you tell me to go fuck myself?” For this performance, she changed it to “...tell me to go straight to hell.”
The singer is known for hiding Easter eggs in her songs and videos, and "Betty" is no different. The song is part of a narrative that's weaved into folklore, which includes three fictional characters named after her celebrity couple friends Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds' three children: Betty, James, and Inez. "Betty" is said to be sung from the perspective of James, who is caught in a love triangle between Betty and another woman (her perspective is captured in the song "August," and "Cardigan" is from Betty's point of view).
Swift fans delighted in her highly-anticipated performance, and expressed on social media how happy they were to see the superstar back in action.
Watch Swift's ACM performance of "Betty" below.