What was she going to do: not bring it up?
Taylor Swift returned to the MTV Video Music Awards on Monday night for the first time in four years — and exactly a decade since Kanye West infamously crashed her acceptance speech for female video of the year.
It was an anniversary Swift, 29, brought up ever so slyly during an interview ahead of the show.
“You never know what can happen on this show, as I’ve learned,” she said on the red carpet. The nod was part of her response to possibly winning multiple VMAs, as she is nominated in a range of categories.
Her 2009 run-in with West kicked off a decade-long rollercoaster relationship that has included partial reconciliations, recriminations and multiple songs inspired by the other.
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Last week, Swift released parts of her personal diary, along with her latest album, Lover, detailing her emotional fall-out from West running on stage at the 2009 VMAs and pulling the microphone from Swift’s hand to say the award should have gone to Beyoncé instead.
In a September 2009 entry, Swift wrote, “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.'”
Her entry ended: “Well… apparently…. It does.”
West’s behavior earned him widespread criticism, including from then-President Barack Obama, and he apologized. Though the two somewhat made up, the relationship later collapsed in a three-way feud between West, his wife, Kim Kardashian West, and Swift after West referred to Swift as “that bitch” in his song “Famous.”
West said Swift approved of the song, but Swift slammed the track and its accompanying video. Then Kardashian West released an edited phone call that showed Swift was aware of other lyrics in the song, if not his lyrics “I made that bitch famous.”
Swift retreated from the spotlight in the wake of their very public spat and she drew on the whole saga for a substantial portion of reputation, her sixth album.
Now, the singer is back in the spotlight with her latest album Lover. As light as reputation was dark, Swift’s seventh studio album appears to be inspired by another personal chapter — her romance with Joe Alwyn. Lover is “an album I’m so proud of,” Swift said on the VMAs red carpet on Monday night.
Slated to perform two songs from the album at the beginning of the show, she said she wasn’t that concerned with winning or losing.
“We’re just going to figure out a way to celebrate anyway,” she said. “It’s just fun to get to do this.”
The 2019 MTV Video Music Awards are airing live from Newark, New Jersey’s Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, at 8 p.m. ET.