Believe it or not, it’s been a whopping 13 years since that cringeworthy moment Kanye West stormed the stage at the MTV VMAs to protest Taylor Swift‘s win.

It’s a moment that’s gone down in history and totally divided the internet.

While staunch Kanye fans thought the rapper’s actions were hilarious, others sympathized with a young Taylor, who had her career-defining moment completely ruined.

Let’s take a look back at what happened and what’s gone down since…

2009 MTV Video Music Awards - Show
Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Kanye storms the stage

It was on September 13, 2009 that Taylor – then 19 years old – was called to the stage to accept the Best Video by a Female Artist gong for her song You Belong With Me.

Kanye didn’t take too kindly to her being awarded the accolade and believed it should have gone to Beyonce for Single Ladies.

And clearly, he had no intentions of keeping his opinion to himself.

Kanye walked up onto the stage and took the microphone out of Taylor’s hand while she was in the middle of her acceptance speech.

He said: “Yo Taylor, I’m really happy for you, I’mma let you finish, but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time.

“One of the best videos of all time!”

The cameras cut to Beyonce, who looked absolutely mortified and appeared to mouth the words “Oh, Kanye”.

The crowd booed Kanye, but he didn’t seem the care.

He handed the mic back to Taylor, who was standing there clutching her award, turned, and walked away.

Later that night, when Beyonce won Video of the Year for Single Ladies, she invited Taylor onto the stage to finish her speech.

“I’d like to give Taylor her moment,” she said.

Kanye said he was wrong

Kanye, who now goes by Ye, admitted the following day that he’d been wrong to do what he did.

He said: “I immediately knew in the situation that it was wrong and it was a spectacle.

“It’s actually someone’s emotions that I stepped on. It was very, it was rude, period. I’d like to be able to apologize to her in person.”

He even contacted Taylor to apologize.

She told ABC Radio: “Kanye did call me and he was very sincere in his apology, and I accepted that apology.

“The support I got from other artists and from the fans, and so many people sticking up for me, that’s what got me to the place where I could accept that apology. And I’m just very thankful that everyone showed me so much love.”

Kanye’s apology didn’t last

In 2013, Kanye did a U-turn and took back his apology to Taylor.

2009 MTV Video Music Awards - Show
Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

He told the New York Times: “I don’t have one regret. If anyone’s reading this waiting for some type of full-on, flat apology for anything, they should just stop reading right now.

“I have, as a human being, fallen to peer pressure.”

Taylor gushes about Kanye

In 2015, Taylor presented Kanye with the MTV Video Vanguard Award at the VMAs.

She said while introducing him: “I first met Kanye West six years ago – at this show, actually!”

Referencing his speech from 2009, she went on: “It seemed like everyone in the world knew about our infamous encounter at the VMAs. But something that you may not know is that Kanye West’s album College Dropout was the very first album my brother and I bought on iTunes when I was 12 years old.

“I have been a fan of his for as long as I can remember because Kanye defines what it means to be a creative force in music, fashion and, well, life.

“So I guess I have to say to all the other winners tonight: I’m really happy for you, and I’mma let you finish, but Kanye West has had one of the greatest careers of all time!”

Kanye appeared to put his feud to one side by sending Taylor flowers.

She shared a picture of them and poked fun at his announcement he was running for US President in 2020 by writing: “Awwww Kanye sent me the coolest flowers!! #KanTay2020 #BFFs”.

Making music

Taylor’s song Innocent from her album Speak Now is rumored to be about Kanye, although she has never confirmed it.

She performed it at the 2010 VMAs and the lyrics go: “It’s all right / Just wait and see / Your string of lights is still bright to me / Who you are is not where you’ve been / You’re still an innocent / … It’s okay / Life is a tough crowd / 32 and still growing up now.”

There are also unconfirmed rumors that Taylor’s songs Look What You Made Me Do and This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things reference her feud with Kanye.

Kanye directly referenced Taylor in his 2016 song Famous.

2009 MTV Video Music Awards - Show
Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

The lyrics go: “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that b***h famous”.

In the music video, he lay in bed alongside a number of celebrity lookalikes, including a woman who looked just like Taylor.

The song and video sparked some backlash, and Kanye claimed Taylor gave him permission to name-drop her in the song during an hour-long phone call. His then-wife Kim Kardashian backed up his side of the story, and she later releases snippets of the phone call.

Taylor’s rebuttal

Taylor had her say as she collected a Grammy award in 2016 for Album of the Year.

She said: “[A]s the first woman to win album of the year at the Grammys twice, I want to say to all the young women out there, there are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame.

“If you just focus on the work, and you don’t let those people sidetrack you, someday when you get where you’re going, you’ll look around and you will know that it was you and the people who love you who put you there, and that will be the greatest feeling in the world. Thank you for this moment.”

Are you Team Taylor or Team Kanye? Let us know in the comments.


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