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Taylor Swift Performs ‘Begin Again’ in a Mock Paris Cafe at 2012 CMA Awards

Taylor Swift
Jason Kempin, Getty Images

Taylor Swift performed her emotionally resonant ballad ‘Begin Again’ live for the first time at the 2012 CMA Awards. It wasn’t just another live performance of a new song, though. In fact, there was nothing ordinary about it, as Swift transformed the stage into a Parisian cafe. It helped the performance take on a life of its own.

The stage was set up like a French coffeehouse, which is not surprising since the video for the song is a love letter to Paris. Swift, who wore a red dress which was slightly shorter than tea-length, nude heels, red lips, and a side pony, came out of the café. She stood and sang while looking away, gazing intently, deep in thought. She pulled up a chair at the outdoor seating area, with the Eiffel Tower looming in the background, and did her thing.

She appeared like a woman who may or may not have just ended a relationship, but mid-song, she did crack that million-dollar smile of hers. Her band was positioned throughout the outdoor café, as were other patrons, which made it feel like a real, functioning eatery. Everything was authentic, from the street lights to the chalk menu board outside the door to the tables and chairs.

For the second half of the song, Swift remained seated, delivering her lyrics amid snow falling from the sky. Towards the end, the lights went down, the Tower lit up and it was as romantic as it gets.

Swift grinned a few times mid-song, as if she finally recognized that she’s the best at what she does. She also earned a standing ovation, and yes, she looked so surprised that her peers have nothing but love for her!

See a Full List of 2012 CMA Awards Winners

Watch Taylor Swift Perform ‘Begin Again’ at the 2012 CMA Awards

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