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Oral History of the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards




Billboard spoke with artists, producers, reporters and MTV staffers about the Kanye West/Taylor Swift incident.


- Producer Jesse Ignjatovic was very excited about the show because of the "level of performances"

- staffers noticed that Kanye was drunk on the red carpet, he had a big bottle of Hennessy with him and was drinking form it the whole night

- Pete Wentz: "Man, Kanye is so drunk. Kanye came up to me inside Radio City and gave me his bottle of Hennessy, and he made me take a swig. The dude is so wasted.”

- MTV was worried that Kanye would offer the cognac to Justin Bieber, who was 16 at the time

- it was a long show and the incident happened pretty early

- the producers were shocked but thought it was "TV gold!”"

- in the following ad break P!nk went to Kanye and told him off

- Taylor was set to perfom soon after it and Viacom president Van Toffler was sent to check on her, both she and her mom were crying backstage.

- Kanye was ushered out of the venue and got yelled at by producer Dave Sirulnick

- Kanye was shocked that he got removed from the show

- reaction from the press room:
All-American Rejects singer Tyson Ritter: "Kanye's a jackass"
Billie Joe: "What the hell was that? Let the girl have her moment!"

- Beyoncé was crying backstage

- MTV admits that they knew who was going to win (duh), so they knew that Taylor would win something else later on so she could giver her speech

- Taylor went and aced her live performance and production was very impressed and thankful

- Van Toffler: "I never imagined we'd be talking about it 10 years later. It's also just the two particular artists are so still very loud in culture -- that's a big part of why people are still talking about it."









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Tags: award show - mtv vmas, beyoncé, kanye west, p!nk / carey hart, taylor swift
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