The US star received a standing ovation at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles as she collected her award, toasting her fans in her acceptance speech as her parents Andrea and Scott watched on.
She said the honour celebrated 10 years of “hard work and of art and of fun and memories”, adding: “All that matters to me is the memories I have had with you guys, with you the fans, over the years.”
“We’ve had fun, incredible, exhilarating, extraordinary times together and may it continue,” she said.
“I am so lucky to get to do this.”
Before accepting the award, the 29-year-old performed a medley of some of her biggest songs, including Love Story, I Knew You Were Trouble and Blank Space.
There had been fears she would be barred from playing tracks from her first six albums amid a row with her former record label and pop manager Scooter Braun.
Taylor was introduced by legendary singer-songwriter Carole King, who said “her lyrics resonate across the generations, her songs touch everyone and her impact around the world is extraordinary”.
After praising Taylor’s influence over the last decade of popular music, Carole added: “The best is yet to come.”
Earlier, she also won Favourite Pop/Rock Album for her latest album Lover. In a possible dig at her former record label Big Machine, she praised her current home Republic Records, a division of Universal Music Group.
She thanked the label for “being so generous to me and allowing me to make whatever music I want to make.”
“As a songwriter it’s so thrilling to me that I get to keep doing that,” she added.
Elsewhere, teenager Billie Eilish continued her year to remember by scooping Best New Artist.
The 17-year-old appeared emotional as she thanked fans for the award, her second of the night after her win for Alternative Rock Artist.
Rapper Post Malone, whose seven nominations were the most on the night, won Favourite Rap/Hip-Hop album for his effort Hollywood’s Bleeding.
Pop star Halsey won the prize for Favourite Pop/Rock Song for her hit Without Me.
Carrie Underwood won Favourite Country Artist and Country Album of the Year.
The AMAs, one of the major music awards shows of the year, boasted a star-studded line-up of performers
Twenty five years after winning her first AMA, Toni Braxton performed her hit Un-Break My Heart while new artist of the year nominee Lizzo treated fans to her single Jerome.
Country music star Thomas Rhett and celebrity couple Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes were also among the performers.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.