Beyonce Cried Backstage When Kanye West Interrupted Taylor Swift’s VMAs Acceptance Speech

Everyone remembers that moment when Kanye West interrupted Taylor Swift’s VMAs acceptance speech and left viewers reeling over what they were witnessing. Would you believe it’s been 10 years since that bizarre Video Music Awards moment? To mark the 10 year anniversary of that odd incident, new details about the event are coming to light.

Kanye West Interrupted Taylor Swift's VMAs Acceptance Speech
Kanye West and Taylor Swift | Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Swift was stunned when West hopped on stage

At the 2009 VMAs, no one could have expected that West would be so unhappy with Swift winning the best female video for “You Belong With Me.” He thought that Beyonce’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)” was the clear winner, so he took to the stage to say as much.

West interrupted the singer, saying, “Yo, Taylor, I’m really happy for you, I’mma let you finish. But Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time! One of the best videos of all time!” Swift stood by as he ranted, holding her Moonman trophy.

What went on behind the scenes

When Beyonce accepted her own award for Video of the Year, she gave Swift time to give the speech she had planned before she was so rudely interrupted.

Billboard has published an oral history of what went down on that now legendary VMAs broadcast, including details about how Beyonce and Swift cried backstage and Pink had some words with West.

Interestingly, West was originally seated 11 rows back but was moved up to have “enough men towards the front of the theater for cutaways.”

Former Viacom president Van Toffler shared some of the behind the scenes activity, noting, “I walk behind the stage — and sure enough, there is Beyoncé and her dad, and she is crying.”

He added: “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.”

Toffler shared how the Beyonce and Swift moment came to be, noting: “At some point I let her 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 would normally not say anything, but I had two crying artists.”

Pink had a word with West

According to the article, Pink reportedly “walked up to him [West] and got in his face” during a commercial break. The account of the night notes that “she was pointing in his face and nodding her head back and forth, and giving him her two cents about how f**ked up this was and then stormed off.”

The 2009 VMAs director, Hamish Hamilton, noted that the show is “always a bumpy ride for a director, because you never really know what’s going to happen.”

He added: “They’re complicated shows to do creatively, logistically, and there’s always a large number of egos in the room, and nervousness from performers who haven’t done it before. I remember that moment quite well, because as a director and as a producer, you kind of pray for moments like this -— moments of notoriety, moments that we’re talking about 10 years later.”