The 2017 MTV Video Music Awards are right around the corner and, obvi, we’re excited AF. As we all know, music’s most thrilling awards ceremony is known for its wild, iconic moments. From Britney Spears’ sexy snake dance in 2001 to Miley Cyrus’ Robin Thicke–assisted twerk-a-thon in 2013, there have been more gems than we can count.
But the most memorable of all? That time Kanye West bum-rushed Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the 2009 VMAs. Taylor, then 19, won the award for Best Female Video for “You Belong With Me.” But her thank-yous were cut short when Yeezy, then 32, infamously interrupted her.
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The “Stronger” rapper ran onto the stage and yelled, “Imma let you finish, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time!” In response to the incident — which sparked a years-long feud — Queen Bey allowed Tay to address her win again when the Destiny’s Child alum’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” visual was named Video of the Year.
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)
T. Swift later acknowledged the drama in her song "Innocent," from her 2010 album, Speak Now. Six years later, at the 2015 VMAs, Taylor and Kanye formally buried the hatchet as he accepted the prestigious Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. The “Shake It Off” singer presented the hip-hop star with the night’s highest honors and reflected back on what caused their bad blood.
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"I first met Kanye West six years ago, at this show actually!" she joked. "Since then, it seemed like everybody in the world knew about our infamous encounter at the VMAs. Kanye West's album The College Dropout was the very first album my brother and I ever bought when I was 12 years old... I have been a fan of his since I can remember because Kanye defines what it is to be a creative force in music, fashion, and well, life.”
She then hilariously mocked Kanye, saying, “I’m really happy for you and Imma let you finish, but Kanye has had one of the greatest careers of all time!” Despite patching things up, the pair found themselves at odds once again in February 2016 when Ye dropped his controversial track “Famous” — in which he raps, “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that b---h famous.”
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Not long after, Taylor’s rep claimed that Kanye never told the 1989 hitmaker that he was calling her "that b---h" and only found out when the single premiered during a Life of Pablo listening party. Then Kanye’s wife, Kim Kardashian, took to Snapchat in July 2016 to share video recordings of Taylor speaking with the MC about his plans to mention her name. Though Taylor told Kanye she “really [appreciated]” his warning about the track, she shared her side of the story via Instagram not long after their conversation went viral online.
“Where is the video of Kanye telling me he was going to call me ‘that bitch’ in his song?” she wrote. “It doesn’t exist because it never happened. You don’t get to control someone’s emotional response to being called ‘that b---h’ in front of the entire world.”
Fingers crossed Taylor dedicates at least one tune to this debacle on her upcoming sixth studio album, Reputation. The 2017 MTV Video Music Awards air on MTV Sunday, Aug. 27, at 8 p.m. EST.
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