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Taylor Swift to Receive Special Honor at American Music Awards

Taylor Swift
Ethan Miller, Getty Images

Taylor Swift will become the first-ever recipient of a very special new honor at the upcoming American Music Awards.

Swift will receive the Dick Clark Award for Excellence during the broadcast, Dick Clark Productions announced Friday (Nov. 21). According to a press release, the newly-created award is “given to an artist who achieves a groundbreaking feat or creates a landmark work. It is to be bestowed upon someone whose spirit and excellence capture the visionary passion that Dick Clark himself incorporated into everything he did.”

The country superstar turned pop singer is being recognized as the only artist in history to have three albums debut with more than 1 million first-week sales. Her fifth album, ‘1989,’ recently opened with 1.287 million sales, following in the footsteps of her two previous releases, ‘Speak Now’ and ‘Red.’

Clark was the creator of the American Music Awards, which are now in their 42nd year. His impact on music was vast. Among the performers who made their debut on shows he produced are Michael Jackson, Madonna, Prince and a young Taylor Swift.

“The first time Dick saw Taylor perform, he knew she was something special,” says Clark’s widow, Kari. “He would be thrilled to know she is the first artist to receive the Dick Clark Award for Excellence.”

“The American Music Awards most closely reflects Dick Clark’s philosophy of popular music. It provides a platform for the biggest music artists of the day, with the winners voted on by the fans,” adds the show’s producer, Larry Klein. “Clark always said, ‘Music is the soundtrack of our lives,’ and no one’s recent music has provided a more meaningful soundtrack for the lives of music fans than Taylor Swift.”

The 2014 American Music Awards will air Sunday (Nov. 23) at 8PM ET on ABC. Swift will open the program with a live performance of her new single, ‘Blank Space.’

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