Kanye West apologizes for Swift outburst at VMAs
Associated Press | 9/16/2009, 8:19 a.m.
The incident provided the VMAs with its traditional water-cooler moment, but also completely overshadowed what had been expected to be the show’s main attraction — a poignant, tender tribute to Michael Jackson by Madonna and his sister, Janet.
Madonna gave a moving speech about her relationship with Jackson, which began when she was a youngster idolizing the then-child star, then morphed into a friendship when both were at the apex of their careers and later grew distant. Madonna lamented the negative publicity that dogged Jackson in his later years.
“Sometimes, we have to lose things before we can truly appreciate them,” said Madonna, dressed in black. “Yes, Michael Jackson was a human being, but yes, he was a king. Long live the king.”
The musical tribute began afterward, as Jackson clones dressed in some of the King of Pop’s signature outfits performed his famous video dance moves.
Then, as “Scream,” his duet with Janet, appeared on a large screen, his sister came out to recreate the moves from their only video together as the crowd cheered her on.
Afterward, she looked heavenward, and bowed.
Jackson died June 25 at age 50. He was not only an integral part of MTV’s history, but he also provided the VMAs with some of its most memorable moments, including his infamous smooch with then-wife Lisa Marie Presley, in 1994.
The night had its surreal moments, too. Lady Gaga — who arrived at the show wearing a gold mask right out of “Phantom of the Opera” and with Kermit the Frog as her date — gave a typically eccentric performance of her song “Paparazzi.” It included a bedazzled wheelchair, Lady Gaga dancing with a crutch, and ended with her hanging as fake blood drenched her torso.
Later, when she won the award for best new artist, she accepted it swathed in red lace from head to toe. She ripped the lace from her face during her profanity-laden speech, which she ended by saying, “Thank you for God and for the gays.”
The night’s best performance may have come courtesy of Pink, who delivered a high-flying version of her song “Sober” with an acrobatic trapeze act that had her dangling from the rafters.
And the night didn’t just focus on music: Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner, the stars of “Twilight,” presented an extended trailer from the movie’s sequel, “New Moon.”
A Jackson moment ended the night, however. The full trailer for “This Is It,” the documentary about Jackson’s preparations for his comeback concerts that were to be held in London, was shown. The film is to be released in October.
AP Entertainment Writer Jake Coyle contributed to this report.