VMAs, what’s good? Throughout its history, the MTV Video Music Awards has been responsible for kickstarting a handful of famous celebrity feuds.
Fans will never forget the moment Kanye West stormed the stage seeking justice for Beyoncé after Taylor Swift won the Best Female Video award in September 2009. “Yo, Taylor, I’m really happy for you, I’ma let you finish, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time,” West exclaimed.
Swift attempted to keep her cool as the Yeezy designer left the stage, but would go on to use the dramatic incident as inspiration for more than one song. West initially apologized for the “rude” display during a 2009 interview with Jay Leno.
“I’m 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,” the Grammy winner said at the time, noting that he “immediately knew” he’d made a mistake.
The Pennsylvania native, for her part, reflected on the response from others at the awards show. “I’m not going to say I wasn’t rattled by it. I had to perform live five minutes later, so I had to get myself back to the place where I could perform,” she said on The View in September 2009. “All the other artists who showed me love in the hours following that, I just never imagined there were that many people out there looking out for me.”
Tension continued to grow between the musicians for years — and things became even messier in 2016 when Kim Kardashian stepped in with receipts about her then-husband’s song “Famous.” In a statement addressing the drama at the time, the “Bad Blood” singer claimed, “Where is the video of Kanye telling me he was going to call me ‘that bitch’ in his song? It doesn’t exist because it never happened. You don’t get to control someone’s emotional response to being called ‘that bitch’ in front of the entire world.”
Kardashian, however, claimed otherwise. “She totally approved that,” the reality star told GQ in June 2016 before she leaked videos of West and Swift’s conversation. “She totally knew that that was coming out. She wanted to all of a sudden act like she didn’t.”
Nearly four years later, the entire unedited conversation was leaked and it was revealed that West did share his lyrics with Swift, but they were different from the ones that made it on the recording.
Kardashian previously asserted on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen in 2019 that she was “over” the drama between Swift and the “Stronger” rapper, from whom she split in February 2021.
In 2015, the VMAs were responsible for sparking another highly publicized feud, this time between Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus. After the Last Song actress, who was hosting the awards that year, dissed the “Starships” rapper in an interview with The New York Times, Minaj put her on blast.
“And now, back to this bitch that had a lot to say about me the other day in the press,” she said on the VMAs stage during the live broadcast. “Miley, what’s good?”
The Other Woman star didn’t seem to be over the tiff in June 2019, when she appeared to reference Cyrus during an episode of her “Queen Radio” show.
“Perdue chickens can never talk s–t about queens,” Minaj said of the Black Mirror actress at the time. “She disrespected me in a magazine article for no reason. … Now you coming out with pink wigs, all you bitches wanna be Nicki.”
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Scroll down for a look back at some of the most scathing feuds to play out at the VMAs through the years: