Taylor Swift, TIME’s 2023 Person of the Year, made Grammys history on Sunday night, becoming the first artist to be awarded Album of the Year four times with her winning album Midnights and announcing a new album to come in April. But Swift, who is no stranger to having every interaction hyper-scrutinized, also drew criticism from some social media users over an awkward moment on stage, when she appeared to ignore presenter Celine Dion.
Dion made a rare, surprise appearance to announce the Album of the Year award at the Grammys ceremony in Los Angeles after largely avoiding the public eye since the Canadian singer revealed in December 2022 that she had been diagnosed with stiff person syndrome, a rare neurological disorder that causes muscle stiffness and spasms.
Dion was met with a standing ovation as the audience, including Swift, cheered and sang along to Dion’s famous 1993 cover of "The Power of Love." But after Dion, 55, announced Swift, 34, as the winner of the award, a seemingly shocked Swift took to the stage and appeared to ignore the industry icon when she grabbed the gramophone statuette from her hands before proceeding with her acceptance speech that included no mention of Dion.
— Recording Academy / GRAMMYs (@RecordingAcad) February 5, 2024
The moment quickly sparked controversy online, with viewers reacting to what they saw as a disrespectful snub.
not trying to be hater but being handed a Grammy by Celine Dion in her very triumphant first public appearance in a long time and barely making eye contact insane
— adam (@adamjmoussa) February 5, 2024
Taylor not even acknowledging Celine Dion is not sitting right with my spirit. Girl, that is CELINE DION.
— Mike Gauyo 🇭🇹 (@blackboywrites) February 5, 2024
Several also drew comparisons between Swift’s interaction with Dion and Miley Cyrus’ earlier interaction with Mariah Carey, who presented Cyrus with her first Grammy, after Cyrus’ hit song “Flowers” was named the Best Pop Solo Performance. Cyrus chatted briefly with Carey off-mic before starting her acceptance speech with: “This M.C. is gonna stand by this M.C. for this, because this is just too iconic.”
The way Miley Cyrus’s speech was all about Mariah and Taylor Swift didn’t even acknowledge the legend that is Celine Dion, especially with her health issues, on stage with her is annoying as hell #GRAMMYs pic.twitter.com/HTTZMmG0v6
— ITTVG (@imthattvgirl) February 5, 2024
Later in the night, as if to show that there was no bad blood between Swift and Dion, a photo of the two women smiling and embracing each other circulated on social media.
— Entertainment Tonight (@etnow) February 5, 2024
But not everyone was satisfied, with some speculating that the photo was a calculated attempt to quell bubbling criticisms.
I don’t even obsess over Celine like some of y’all do. But you acknowledge a queen when you see one. In the moment. Especially when she’s handing you an award. Not backstage when someone has whispered in your ear to clean it up. #GRAMMYs pic.twitter.com/ropnqI7AU5
— April (@ReignOfApril) February 5, 2024
“When I say I’m happy to be here, I really mean it from my heart,” Dion said before presenting Swift with the award. “Those who have been blessed enough to be here at the Grammy Awards must never take for granted the tremendous love and joy that music brings to our lives and to people all around the world.”
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