Taylor Swift Wrote This in Her Diary After Kanye West Interrupted Her 2009 MTV VMA Speech
With MTV’s Video Music Awards coming up, an infamous incident between pop singer Taylor Swift and rapper Kanye West may be on the minds of some fans. Swift recently revealed what she wrote in a diary entry shortly after the famed event in 2009.
A look back
Ten years ago, a then 19-year-old Swift was accepting her Best Female Music Video of the Year at the VMAs for her song “You Belong With Me.” Also in the running for the award was singing legend Beyoncé for “Single Ladies.” When Swift began her acceptance speech, she was interrupted by West onstage.
“Yo Taylor, I’m really happy for you, I’m a let you finish, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time. One of the best videos of all time!” West said as reported by Entertainment Weekly, then gave the microphone back to Swift. Later in the evening, Beyoncé won the award for Music Video of the Year, and in a very classy move invited Swift up to the stage so she could finish her speech.
West later apologized to Swift on his blog. “I’m sooooo sorry to taylor swift and her fans and her mom,” West wrote, according to People. “I spoke to her mother right after and she said the same thing my mother would’ve said. She is very talented! … I really feel bad for taylor and I’m sincerely sorry!”
The rapper also appeared on The Tonight Show shortly after the VMAs and spoke to Jay Leno about his remorse. “It’s been extremely difficult. I just — just dealing with the fact that I hurt someone, or took anything away from a talented artist, or from anyone, because I only wanted to help people,” West told Leno, according to People. “You know, my entire life, I’ve only wanted to give and do something that I felt was right, and I immediately knew in this situation that it was wrong and it wasn’t a spectacle. It’s actually someone’s emotions that I stepped on and it was rude, period. I’d like to be able to apologize to her in person.”
West later seemed to backtrack a bit at a release party in November 2010 for his album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. “Taylor never came to my defense in any interview,” he said, as reported by People. “And [she] rode the wave and rode it and rode it.”
Swift recently released her seventh album, Lover, with excerpts from her diaries included in the deluxe version. One of the entries was recorded soon after the incident with West.
“Ahh… the things that can change in a week,” she wrote on September 18, 2009. “If you had told me that one of the biggest stars in music was going to jump on stage and announce that he thought I shouldn’t have won on live television, I would’ve said, ‘That stuff doesn’t really happen in real life.’ Well… apparently… It does.”
Swift had spoken to New York Magazine about the melee with West the following year. “It doesn’t really add anything good if I start victimizing myself and complaining about things. Because I’m proud of that performance at the VMAs last year, where my fans helped me get through it,” she said in the interview. “And there was a lot that went down backstage that I will always be thankful for … I’ve never had this thick skin that can’t be … It’s not like I am bulletproof in any sense of the word.”
The singer also told New York Magazine that the event inspired her song “Innocent,” which talks about forgiveness. “I think a lot of people expected me to write a song about him. But for me it was important to write a song to him,” Swift said of West.
A grand opening
For this year’s VMA’s, Swift is set to open the show, a detail she may have let slip on a recent Good Morning America appearance. “I’m opening the show, so that’s exciting,” she told Robin Roberts when asked what fans could expect at this year’s award ceremony. “I don’t know if I was supposed to say that actually, but I’ve done it now, so…can’t take it back.”
This year, Swift is nominated for 10 VMA’s, tied with singer Ariana Grande. This will be the first live performance by Swift at the ceremony since 2015, according to Rolling Stone.
See the MTV VMAs live on August 26!