More than a decade has passed since Kanye West made his infamous razzmatazz at the 2009 MTV VMAs.
Pop culture fans would probably never forget how it all went down. First, “You Belong With Me” by Taylor Swift won in the Best Female Video category beating Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It).”
Then shortly after Swift received the award and began her acceptance speech, West stormed the stage, taking the microphone from her to announce that Beyoncé deserved the award.
Although the dust has long settled since that moment, some very puzzling questions remain unanswered? What prompted Kanye’s outlandish move? How did Swift get on stage with Bey?
Keep scrolling to find out some unheard stories about what really happened at Radio City Musical Hall.
Kanye might have just given some warning signs that he was not really in control of himself, and was only one moment away from unraveling.
During an interview with Billboard in 2019, Whitney-Gayle Benta, former Vice President of Talent Relations at MTV News mentioned that the rapper arrived on the red carpet with a bottle of Hennessy.
“I knew him very well and it seemed very out of character for him to be on the carpet like that,” he told Billboard in 2019. “The VMAs are very different from the Grammys, but I’d never seen him in any way with a bottle of liquor.”
Kanye would later share some insight into that day via Nick Cannon’s podcast “Cannon’s Class.”
“If God ain’t want me to run on stage and say Beyoncé had the best video, he wouldn’t have sat me in the front row.
…I was only drinking Hennessy because I didn’t want to go to the awards show because it was a set-up,” he said.
It is safe to say being tipsy might have pushed West over the edge.
With the backlash that came, it’s a lesson for all that Alcohol and conversations do not mix well.
Bey And Swift On Stage
Something had to happen to end the event on a somewhat good note. Then came the former president of Viacom Media Networks Music & Logo Group with a genius idea.
“There is Beyoncé and her dad, and she is crying. She was like, ‘I didn’t know this was going to happen, I feel so bad for her.’ And that’s when it started to click in my head, and maybe hers, about potentially having the whole arc play out in that one night,” Van Toffler disclosed to Billboard.
“At some point I let Beyoncé know that she was probably going to be up on the podium at the end of the show for an award. And wouldn’t it be nice to have Taylor come up and have her moment then?”
“I had to indicate to her that she needed to stay, and perhaps this is a way to have this come full circle and let [Taylor] have her moment. I would normally not say anything, but I had two crying artists,” he stated.
Fans loved seeing the duo on stage calming the brewing drama.
The Producers Had A Different Plan
The year of that award ceremony, the music world had just lost an irreplaceable legend and the show’s executive producer hoped that the event would see several A-list talents kill it on stage.
“It was the summer that Michael Jackson died, so that was a big story going into the show,” Jesse Ignjatovic explained to Billboard.
“Knowing we had Janet Jackson there performing with her brother via the synched-up video… Madonna giving that long speech to open the night… I thought those would set the tone and be some of the big moments.”
Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, and Swift also delivered sterling performances that night. Sadly, Kanye’s on-stage drama now seems to be the only recollection of that day.
All’s Well That Ends Well
A day after the awards, Van dialled up Scott Borchetta, the CEO of Big Machine Records (Swift’s label) to apologize for the unwarranted intrusion.
His reaction was quite unexpected. “He’s like ‘Van, here’s the thing about it; yesterday most of the country had no idea who Taylor Swift was.
Today, Oprah Winfrey sent her flowers this morning and asked if she could talk to her.”
In total, Swift now has 32 VMA wins, exceeding Michael Jackson‘s record of 24 wins.