It's hard to believe it's been a decade since Kanye West hopped up on stage and interrupted a young Taylor Swift as she was receiving her 2009 MTV Video Music Award for Best Female Video for "You Belong With Me."
The "I'mma let you finish" moment, when West declared that Beyoncé had the best video of the year for "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)," is now one of the most famous moments in recent pop culture history—and it's had 10 years of ripple effects, including West's song "Famous" and the ensuing drama with Swift and his wife, Kim Kardashian.
But we're just now learning new details about what exactly went down that night, thanks to excerpts from Swift's diary released with the deluxe version of her new album, Lover, as well as an oral history from Billboard published ahead of Monday night's VMAs.
"If you had told me that one of the biggest stars in music was going to jump up onstage 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 wrote in her diary at the time.
According to Billboard's oral history of the incident, MTV producers were just as shocked as we (and the audience at Radio City Music Hall) were to see West jump on on stage during Swift's acceptance speech. On TV, we all watched Beyoncé mouth, "Oh, Kanye," but we didn't see Pink later confront him during a commercial break.
"During the commercial break, he went back down to his seat ,and Pink walked up to him and got in his face," then-MTV senior correspondent Jesse Montgomery told Billboard. "I wasn't close enough to hear the conversation, but she was pointing in his face and nodding her head back and forth, and giving him her two cents about how fucked up this was and then stormed off. Then he was sitting there next to Amber Rose with his arm around her, and you could feel everyone in Radio City glaring at his back."
"Because of my relationship with Taylor and her camp, I was going to deal with her. Her mom and she were crying, and I profusely apologized, and I said, 'I'm sorry, we didn't know. I know you have to perform in the next act, and let me think about a way we can make it right for you. We're dealing with him now and I'm so sorry it ruined your moment,'" then-Viacom president James Toffler said. "I didn't anticipate I'd have a crying artist and mom to deal with—literally right before she has to go out on Sixth Avenue and stand on a car and sing her song."
Swift wasn't the only one upset from the incident.
"I walk behind the stage—and sure enough there is Beyoncé and her dad, and she is crying. She was like, 'I didn't know this was going to happen, I feel so bad for her,'" Toffler continued. "And that's when it started to click in my head, and maybe hers, about potentially having the whole arc play out in that one night." He says that's when he realized that he could let Beyoncé know that she was going to win an award later and that maybe it would be a good idea to bring Swift up and let her have her moment back.
That is indeed what happened—and the rest is now music history. Toffler said, "There was a lot of begging, but fortunately she [Swift] agreed to stay, and Beyoncé agreed to do a wonderfully gracious thing. So the Shakespearean arc played out over the course of the evening."
Originally Appeared on Glamour