Kanye West and Taylor Swift’s Tumultuous History: A Timeline

Kanye West and Taylor Swift have had a tumultuous dynamic over the years — but what started the bad blood between the artists?

The infamous feud between the duo began when West shockingly ambushed Swift during the 2009 MTV VMAs. While Swift was giving her acceptance speech after taking home the trophy for Best Female Video, West took the stage to interrupt her and let the world know that Beyoncé should have won instead.

After West received tons of backlash from the incident, he ultimately apologized. While the pair seemingly made up after the awards show, the truce didn’t last for long.

Their bitter rivalry — which spanned for more than a decade — inspired several songs for both artists. The drama even led to Swift creating an entire era for herself with her iconic Reputation album.

Keep scrolling to see Swift and West’s history over the years:


The feud started when West interrupted Swift as she accepted the Best Female Video Award for “You Belong With Me” at the MTV Video Music Awards in September 2009. During her speech,
West grabbed the microphone out of her hand and yelled, “Yo, Taylor, I’m really happy for you. Imma let you finish, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time.”

The camera immediately panned to a horrified Beyoncé, who was nominated in the same category for her “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” video, saying, “No, Kanye.”

At the end of the night, Beyoncé came to Swift’s rescue. When she won her award for Video of the Year, Beyoncé brought Swift on stage to let her finish her speech.

West was immediately hit with backlash from celebs and fans alike. Then-president Barack Obama even called the rapper a “jackass” for the incident in an off-the-record comment during a CNBC interview.

Two days after the VMAs, West made a tearful appearance on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno. “It’s been a difficult day. … I immediately knew in the situation that it was wrong and it wasn’t a spectacle,” he explained at the time. “It’s actually someone’s emotions that I stepped on. It was rude, period. I’d like to apologize to her in person.”

After West shared his intentions to say he was sorry, Swift confessed the pair had spoken about the incident.

“Kanye did call me and he was very sincere in his apology, and I accepted that apology,” Swift told ABC Radio at the time. “The support I got from other artists and from the fans, and so many people sticking up for me, that’s what got me to the place where I could accept that apology. And I’m just very thankful that everyone showed me so much love.”


Taylor Swift and Kanye West
Steve Granitz/WireImage; Allen Berezovsky/WireImage


Swift released the track “Innocent” on her Speak Now album. The song alluded to her drama with West.

“It’s all right / Just wait and see / Your string of lights is still bright to me / Who you are is not where you’ve been / You’re still an innocent / … It’s okay / Life is a tough crowd / 32 and still growing up now,” she sings.

Later that year, Swift took the stage at the 2010 VMAS to perform “Innocent,” which was widely interpreted as a dig at West.


While everything seemed to be at peace for West and Swift, things escalated for the musicians three years later. In June 2013, West sat down with The New York Times for an extensive Q&A and the infamous moment with Swift was brought up. When asked if he regretted the outburst, West stood by his decision to storm the stage.

“I don’t have one regret,” he said to the outlet. “If anyone’s reading this waiting for some type of full-on, flat apology for anything, they should just stop reading right now.”

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