Back in the day, Taylor Swift used to be a staple at the Country Music Association Awards, but we all know that Old Taylor is dead now, and an edgy pop princess has taken her place. That’s why it was really no surprise that she didn’t show up to the CMAs on Nov. 8, just two days before her diss-track-filled album Reputation is set to drop.

What was surprising? The fact that she still took home one of the biggest awards of the night! Taylor can now add “Song of the Year, 2017” to her list of awards. How, you may ask? Well she helped write Little Big Town’s winning song “Better Man”!

“We wanna say thanks to Taylor Swift,” gushed Little Big Town while accepting the award. “She couldn’t be with us tonight. But Taylor, wherever you are, thank you for this beautiful song, for loving songs and loving Nashville.”

But why isn’t Taylor Swift at the CMAs?

Fans immediately rushed to Twitter to praise their queen and demand to know why she didn’t show up to accept in person, especially when her country fans have been with her from the beginning. Well, she’s just 48 hours away from dropping her highly awaited new album Reputation, and she’s currently in New York City prepping for her big Saturday Night Live appearance on Nov. 11, but she was still watching and took a minute to thank fans via Instagram Stories:

taylor swift, insta

Perhaps Taylor’s absence explains why her friends Karlie Kloss and Ruby Rose decided to go to the country awards show. We thought it was weird that the Australian actress and supermodel stopped by. Maybe they were there to bring Tay’s shiny new award back to her!