Taylor Swift Was Desperate for Kanye West’s Respect After the 2009 VMAs

The 2022 MTV VMAs are almost here. Tonight, August 28, celebrities will gather to celebrate the best music videos of the past year. Of course, with the upcoming ceremony, many people are revisiting some of the most infamous moments in VMA history. One unforgettable moment that always makes the list is Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift at the 2009 VMAs.

Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift at the 2009 VMAs
Kanye West and Taylor Swift | Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Why Kanye West famously interrupted Taylor Swift at the MTV VMAs

It’s been 13 years since Swift was stopped from giving her acceptance speech after she won the VMA for Best Female Video for You Belong with Me. “Yo Taylor,” West declared. “I’m really happy for you, Imma let you finish, but Beyoncé has one of the best videos of all time.” The audience responded by booing the Homecoming artist. However, at the time, Swift assumed the boos were for her.

The ‘All Too Well’ singer truly wanted to earn West’s respect

Swift has been candid that the infamous moment at the VMAs pushed her to work harder. At the time, she was a well-known country artist. However, she felt like she needed to prove herself as a mainstream pop artist. She’s shared that she desperately wanted the approval of her peers. This was especially true of West, whom she’d previously been a huge fan of. In a 2019 interview with Rolling Stone, Swift got candid about craving West’s respect.

“All I ever wanted my whole career after that thing happened in 2009 was for him to respect me,” Swift explained about West, referencing the VMAs. “When someone doesn’t respect you so loudly and says you literally don’t deserve to be here — I just so badly wanted that respect from him, and I hate that about myself, that I was like, ‘This guy who’s antagonizing me, I just want his approval.’ But that’s where I was.”

How West managed to reignite his feud with Swift

This desire for respect caused Swift to form what she believed to be a friendship with West. The pair would grab dinner together, and West would compliment her music. In 2015, he convinced her to present him with the Vanguard Award at the 2015 VMAs. After she agreed, West declared that it was only a setup by MTV to increase ratings in his speech. According to Swift, West sent her a huge array of flowers (which she posted on Instagram) in apology.

Eventually, however, Swift was done with her tremulous relationship with West. Her final straw seemed to be when he released his song “Famous”. In the song, he takes credit for “the 1” singer’s fame and also calls her a derogatory name. However, Swift shared that their feud was based on more than just the phone call that he illegally recorded.

Swift is fine with being on bad terms with West

“The world didn’t understand the context and the events that led up to it,” Swift shared about the call with West. “Because nothing ever just happens like that without some lead-up. Some events took place to cause me to be pissed off when he called me a b****. That was not just a singular event. Basically, I got really sick of the dynamic between he and I. And that wasn’t just based on what happened on that phone call and with that song — it was kind of a chain reaction of things.”


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These days, it seems that Swift has moved on from needing West’s respect. In fact, she has no desire for any type of relationship with him going forward. In her own words about him: “If you want to be on bad terms, let’s be on bad terms, but just be real about it.”