Taylor Swift took the MGM Grand Garden Arena stage Wednesday evening, where she opened up the 2019 Billboard Music Awards with her newest single “ME!” — in a performance that had some viewers claiming she copied Beyoncé.
Swift was backed by dancers wearing bright, pastel colors and her featured guest, Brendon Urie of Panic! at the Disco, descended from the ceiling holding an umbrella. There were also dancers spinning in the air holding umbrellas.
But it’s the marching band that kicked off Swift’s performance that has the Internet buzzing.
Many viewers accused the 29-year-old singer of “copying” Beyoncé‘s 2018 Coachella set — highlighted in the superstar’s recent Netflix “Homecoming” documentary — which notably featured a marching band performance.
“Taylor Swift is copying Beyonce again. Her marching band was was better #BBMAs,” one viewer on Twitter wrote.
Echoed another individual: “Taylor Swift out here copying Beyoncé performance at Coachella. #BillboardMusicAwards.”
“Who is this opening act copying #Beyonce with the marching band?…Ughh. It’s #TaylorSwift #BBMAs,” tweeted one person.
Asked another viewer: “Was it just me or was Taylor Swift’s performance a little too similar to Beyoncé and her Coachella set? #BillboardMusicAwards.”
“Yall not gon tell me Taylor Swift didn’t watch Beyonce Homecoming before that performance tonight. #BillboardMusicAwards #BBMAs,” tweeted one person.
“I love Taylor and everything but she did the same thing . @Beyonce did,” wrote another.
However, others on social media defended Swift, saying she didn’t copy Beyoncé, 37.
“Taylor Swift using a marching band is not “copying Beyonce” lmao y’all are REACHING. Taylor literally has an entire song/music video/tour look from 2009 using a marching band character/outfit anyway so goodbye,” tweeted one person. “Drums and colorful suits are not exclusively from Beyoncé,” wrote another viewer.
Commented one individual: “Y’all know @taylorswift13 had ME! recorded along time ago so Taylor DID NOT imitate beyonce’s drumline. Try again.”
Swift is nominated for two awards — top female artist and top touring artist — at the show airing live on NBC. She previously has taken home 32 Billboard Music Awards.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.