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.”