2009 MTV Video Music Awards

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2009 MTV Video Music Awards
DateSunday, September 13, 2009
LocationRadio City Music Hall (New York City)
CountryUnited States
Hosted byRussell Brand
Most awardsBeyoncé, Green Day and
Lady Gaga (3)
Most nominationsBeyoncé and Lady Gaga (9)
Websitehttp://www.mtv.com/ontv/vma/2009/ Edit this on Wikidata
Television/radio coverage
NetworkMTV and VH1
Produced byJesse Ignjatovic
Dave Sirulnick
Directed byHamish Hamilton
← 2008 · MTV Video Music Awards · 2010 →

The 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, honoring the best music videos from the previous year between June 2008 to June 2009, were presented on September 13, 2009, at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City, and televised by MTV. The ceremony was hosted by Russell Brand.

Beyoncé, Green Day, and Lady Gaga were tied for the most-awarded acts of the night, winning three awards each. Beyoncé's "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" won the award for Video of the Year, while Beyoncé and Lady Gaga were both tied for the largest number of nominations with nine, followed by Britney Spears with seven. In the aftermath of his June 2009 death, the show featured various tributes to Michael Jackson, including an opening act featuring a medley of Jackson's biggest hits and a special appearance by Janet Jackson to perform her duet "Scream", and the premiere of a trailer for the posthumous documentary film Michael Jackson's This Is It.

The ceremony was marred by an incident in which Kanye West interrupted Taylor Swift's acceptance of the award for Best Female Video, in order to proclaim that despite her victory, Beyoncé still had "one of the best videos of all time", referring to the aforementioned "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)". When Beyoncé was eventually awarded Video of the Year, she acknowledged the moment when she had won her first VMA as part of Destiny's Child, and invited Swift back onstage to finish her acceptance speech. The incident was highly publicized, with Rolling Stone naming it the "wildest" moment in the history of the VMAs in 2013.

The broadcast was seen by a total of 9 million viewers, a 17% increase over 2008, making it the most-watched VMAs since 2004.[1][2]

Performances[edit]

Performer(s) Song(s)
Main show
This Is It Backup Dancers
Janet Jackson
Tribute to Michael Jackson
"Thriller"
"Bad"
"Smooth Criminal"
"Scream" (with Jackson)
Katy Perry
Joe Perry
"We Will Rock You"
Taylor Swift "You Belong with Me"
Lady Gaga "Poker Face" (intro)
"Paparazzi"
Green Day "East Jesus Nowhere"
Beyoncé "Sweet Dreams" (intro)
"Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)"
Muse "Uprising"
Pink "Sober"
Jay-Z
Alicia Keys
"Empire State of Mind"

House band performances[edit]

Rapper Wale and go-go band UCB served as the house band for the show, performing right before, during, and right after commercial breaks. Throughout the show they also had various special guests and performed the following songs:

Awards[edit]

Winners are in bold text.[3]

Video of the Year[edit]

Beyoncé – "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)"

Best Male Video[edit]

T.I. (featuring Rihanna) – "Live Your Life"

Best Female Video[edit]

Taylor Swift – "You Belong with Me"

Best New Artist[edit]

Lady Gaga – "Poker Face"

Best Pop Video[edit]

Britney Spears – "Womanizer"

Best Rock Video[edit]

Green Day – "21 Guns"

Best Hip-Hop Video[edit]

Eminem – "We Made You"

Breakthrough Video[edit]

Matt and Kim – "Lessons Learned"

Best Direction[edit]

Green Day – "21 Guns" (Director: Marc Webb)

Best Choreography[edit]

Beyoncé – "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" (Choreographers: Frank Gatson Jr. and JaQuel Knight)

Best Special Effects[edit]

Lady Gaga – "Paparazzi" (Special Effects: Chimney Pot)

Best Art Direction[edit]

Lady Gaga – "Paparazzi" (Art Director: Jason Hamilton)

Best Editing[edit]

Beyoncé – "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" (Editor: Jarrett Fijal)

Best Cinematography[edit]

Green Day – "21 Guns" (Director of Photography: Jonathan Sela)

Best Video (That Should Have Won a Moonman)[edit]

Beastie Boys – "Sabotage"

Best Performance in a Pepsi Rock Band Video[edit]

Nerds in Disguise – "My Own Worst Enemy"

Best Breakout Artist Awards[edit]

Eight local MTV VMA Best Breakout Artist Awards were awarded. The table below lists the number of bands considered in each city, the three finalist nominees selected by MTV for each VMA, and the winner in bold.[4][5] The winners were featured on MTV on local cable during the live VMAs and received featured coverage on MTV and MTV2 (or MTV Tr3́s in the case of the LA contest).[4]

New York City Bay Area Atlanta Chicago Boston Philadelphia Washington, DC Los Angeles

of over 190 entries
Presented by

Time Warner Cable and MTV2[4]

of 129 entries
Presented by

Comcast and MTV2[6]
  • Holla Front
  • Rantings of Eva
  • Tone G

of over 150 entries
Presented by

Comcast and MTV2[7]

of over 150 entries
Presented by

Comcast and MTV2[8]

of over 150 entries
Presented by

Comcast and MTV2[9]
  • Atlantic Avenue
  • DaCav5
  • Rushmore

of over 150 entries
Presented by

Comcast and MTV2[10]

of over 170 entries
Presented by

Comcast and MTV2[11]
  • La Banda Skalavera
  • No Way Jose
  • South Central Skankers

of 116 entries
Presented by

Time Warner Cable and MTV Tr3́s[12]

Appearances[edit]

Pre-show[edit]

Main show[edit]

Kanye West–Taylor Swift incident[edit]

West taking the microphone from Swift at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards.

As Taylor Swift was giving her Best Female Video acceptance speech for "You Belong with Me", Kanye West went on stage, took the microphone from her, and said: "Yo, Taylor, I'm really happy for you, I'mma let you finish, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time! One of the best videos of all time!", referring to the music video for "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)". As the live audience booed, West handed the microphone back to Swift, shrugged his shoulders, and walked off stage.[13][14]

West was subsequently removed from the show.[13][14] Later in the show, Beyoncé won Video of the Year for "Single Ladies" and called Swift back onstage to let her finish her speech.[15]

Various celebrities and industry figures,[13][16][17][18] as well as prominent political figures including then United States President Barack Obama[19] and former President Jimmy Carter,[20] condemned West for his verbal outburst at Taylor Swift. West apologized on his blog and during an appearance on The Jay Leno Show.[21]

Emil Wilbekin, managing editor of Essence magazine, argued that West may have gone too far with his actions, compared to the past: "I think that it was not Kanye's place to speak for Beyoncé or to ruin Taylor Swift's moment... It's OK for Kanye to rattle off about himself, but I think he crossed the line when he decided to speak for other people."[13] Los Angeles Times contributor Ann Powers opined that "from one vantage point, it was a case of chivalry gone horribly wrong" as West meant to "stand up for" Beyoncé.[22] Powers was cynical about the onstage embrace Beyoncé and Swift shared, calling it "staged" and stating that it added "another layer of meaning to an already complicated moment. Now this controversy was about women sticking up for each other, too."[22]

In 2013, Rolling Stone named the incident the wildest moment in VMA history.[23] The outburst resulted in a meme consisting of images of West being superimposed onto other images with text in the style of his interruption ("X is one of the greatest Y of all time", or variants thereon, in some cases preceded by "I'm really happy for you" and/or "I'mma let you finish")."[24] West later referenced the incident in his 2016 single "Famous," controversially claiming that he made Swift famous through it.[25]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ MTV's 2009 VMAS Pull Nine Million Viewers, Best ratings since '04 Archived September 19, 2009, at the Wayback Machine, Rolling Stone. 2009.
  2. ^ 2009 VMAs Ratings Up 17%, Hollyscoop.com. 2009.
  3. ^ "2009 MTV Video Music Award winners". MTV. Archived from the original on October 27, 2009. Retrieved October 19, 2009.
  4. ^ a b c MTV VMA Best Breakout NYC Artist|OurStage.com Archived August 7, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "MTV Local Music Contests". OurStage. Archived from the original on August 20, 2009. Retrieved September 23, 2009.
  6. ^ "MTV VMA Best Breakout Bay Area Artist". OurStage.com. Archived from the original on July 4, 2009. Retrieved October 17, 2009.
  7. ^ "MTV VMA Best Breakout Atlanta Artist". OurStage.com. Archived from the original on July 5, 2009. Retrieved October 17, 2009.
  8. ^ "MTV VMA Best Breakout Chicago Artist". OurStage.com. Archived from the original on July 6, 2009. Retrieved October 17, 2009.
  9. ^ "MTV VMA Best Breakout Boston Artist". OurStage.com. Archived from the original on July 15, 2009. Retrieved October 17, 2009.
  10. ^ "MTV VMA Best Breakout Philly Artist". OurStage.com. Archived from the original on September 5, 2009. Retrieved October 17, 2009.
  11. ^ MTV VMA Best Breakout DC Artist | OurStage.com Archived July 7, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "MTV Tr3s Best Breakout LA Artist". OurStage.com. Archived from the original on July 5, 2009. Retrieved October 17, 2009.
  13. ^ a b c d Respers, Lisa (September 14, 2009). "Anger over West's disruption at MTV awards". CNN. Archived from the original on September 26, 2009. Retrieved September 15, 2009.
  14. ^ a b Kreps, Daniel (September 13, 2009). "Kanye West Storms the VMAs Stage During Taylor Swift's Speech". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on January 19, 2013. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  15. ^ Kanye West Crashes VMA Stage During Taylor Swift's Award Speech. Kanye continues his history of onstage award-show rants Archived December 13, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, MTV. 2009.
  16. ^ "The Ten: Tweets From Industry Peeps Over Kanye Controversy". Archived from the original on February 1, 2010. Retrieved March 16, 2010.
  17. ^ Celebs Tweet Support For Taylor Archived September 22, 2009, at the Wayback Machine, Perez Hilton. 2009.
  18. ^ Daly, Sean (September 18, 2009). "Taylor Swift calls up the MJ Morning Show... and then all hell breaks loose". Tampa Bay. Archived from the original on June 26, 2010. Retrieved March 7, 2014.
  19. ^ MacAskill, Ewen (September 15, 2009). "Obama calls Kanye West a 'jackass' over MTV outburst". The Guardian. Archived from the original on November 19, 2021. Retrieved November 19, 2021.
  20. ^ "Jimmy Carter weighs in on Kanye West's VMA stunt". CNN. September 15, 2009. Archived from the original on September 23, 2009. Retrieved September 17, 2009.
  21. ^ Martens, Todd & Villarreal, Yvonne (September 15, 2009). "Kanye West expresses Swift regret on blog and 'The Jay Leno Show'". The Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on September 27, 2009. Retrieved September 15, 2009.
  22. ^ a b Powers, Ann (September 14, 2009). "Beyonce and Taylor Swift: Sisterhood is powerful, especially when male-directed". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on February 6, 2011. Retrieved September 15, 2009.
  23. ^ Hyman, Dan (August 16, 2014). "The 24 Wildest Moments in VMA History". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on August 20, 2013. Retrieved August 20, 2013.
  24. ^ Anderson, Kyle (September 16, 2009). "Kanye West's VMA Interruption Gives Birth To Internet Photo Meme". MTV. Archived from the original on October 1, 2009. Retrieved October 3, 2009.
  25. ^ Grady, Constance (August 26, 2019). "How the Taylor Swift-Kanye West VMAs scandal became a perfect American morality tale". Vox. Retrieved October 12, 2023.

External links[edit]