Kayne's protest disrupts MTV awards ceremony

Madonna joins Janet Jackson to pay tribute to King of Pop

Singer Kanye West takes the microphone from singer Taylor Swift as she accepts the ‘Best Female Video’ award during the MTV Video Music Awards in New York on Sunday night. AP

The 19-year-old knew that the network does not exactly make a habit out of giving their moonman trophies to country music stars.

“I was standing on the stage and I was really excited because I had just won the award,” Swift said after Sunday’s show at Radio City Music Hall. “And then I was really excited because Kanye West was on the stage. And then I was not so excited anymore after that.”

Taking the microphone, the rapper protested Swift’s selection and announced that Beyonce, also nominated, should have won because her ‘Single Ladies (Put a Ring on it)’ was “one of the best videos of all time”. As he had numerous times before, West made sure an awards show spotlight shone on him. A stunned Swift staggered and did not get to finish her acceptance speech. The crowd booed West, who shortly after was asked to leave the show and left the building.

But Swift got a chance to recapture her time in the spotlight. Toward the end of the evening, when Beyonce won video of the year for ‘Single Ladies’, the pop star promptly invited Swift out on stage to properly “have her moment”.

“They told me to stand by the side of the stage,” Swift said. “I did not really know what was going to go down, but I thought it was so wonderful and gracious of her to do what she has always done. “I thought that I could not love Beyonce more and then tonight happened.”

West later apologised on his blog to Swift, her fans and her mother. Watching all this was host Russell Brand, who is no stranger to controversy, himself. As host last year, the British comedian made headlines for his jokes about the Jonas Brothers and their purity rings. “You do not like to see people upset,” Brand said backstage. “But I think it just gets exciting, live television, live events. People get worked up and things happen.”

And that might as well be the VMA mission statement. MTV always seeks a combustible mix for their flagship award show, hoping for just the kind of attention West attracted.

Hero hailed
In remarks lengthy for the rapid-cutting MTV, Madonna introduced a tribute to Michael Jackson. The singer hailed Jackson as a hero who was “abandoned” by a public “busy passing judgment”.

What followed was a medley of Jackson-esque dancers performing a thunderous foot-stomping and hand-clapping tribute to the tune of ‘Bad’, ‘Thriller’ and ‘Smooth Criminal’.  In what was the most anticipated appearance at the award show, Janet Jackson emerged to honour her late brother, resolutely dancing to their duet “Scream.”
This year, MTV returned its most prominent spectacle to New York, its first time here since 2006. Setting up camp at Radio City, it looked as if a teenybopper atom bomb had been exploded in midtown Manhattan, leaving a crater 10 blocks in diameter of the young, the hip and the wannabe young and hip.

An elaborate red carpet was rolled out on Avenue of the Americas, where Lady Gaga (who tied for the most nominations with Beyonce) appeared with her face shrouded by a mask and with Kermit the Frog by her side. Hundreds of teenage girls were fenced in all around Rockefeller Center — all decked out in their finest neon colors — hoping for a seat.

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