Before Kanye West Accepts His Video Vanguard Award, Let's Look Back at His (Multiple) VMAs Meltdowns

by Sophie Schillaci & Denny Directo 3:30 PM PDT, August 27, 2015
Playing Before Kanye West Accepts His Video Vanguard Award, Let's Look Back at His (Multiple) VMAs Meltdowns

Kanye West is set to receive the MTV Video Music Awards' most coveted prize on Sunday, the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, but his history of Moonman-related meltdowns is hard to ignore.

In 2004, Kanye's first trip to the VMAs, the College Dropout rapper went home empty-handed.

"I'll answer questions all day," he told reporters backstage. "At least it'll be the first time I get to talk tonight."

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The next year, he took home his first Moonman ever for "Jesus Walks." But in 2007, despite five nominations, Kanye was shut out completely. ET cameras caught the meltdown that ensued backstage. See it for yourself in the video above.

"Five nominations! F**king lost to Black Eyed Peas last year," he raved. "I'm never coming to MTV! ... I ain't f**kin' with this pop s**t, man."

But he did come back to MTV, and in 2009 delivered a moment that will live in pop culture infamy -- crashing Taylor Swift's Best Female Video acceptance speech to declare that Beyonce "had one of the best videos of all time." (Of course, she did, and Queen Bey went on to win the night's top honor -- Video of the Year -- for "Single Ladies." She ceded her moment in the spotlight to Taylor, allowing the first-time winner to finish her acceptance speech.)

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"I was standing on stage and I was really excited because I had just won the award, and then I was really excited because Kanye West was on the stage," Taylor told reporters backstage that night. "And then I wasn't so excited anymore after that."

Yes, Kanye cut Taylor off, but he's bounced back -- and the two have since mended fences and even teased a potential collaboration. In an interview with ETonline, VMAs executive producer Jesse Ignjatovic said that Kanye was "honored" and "humble" upon learning that he had been selected as this year's Video Vanguard recipient.

"I think he's one of the most deserved [artists] we've ever had," Ignjatovic said. "Everything he does -- musically, visually, in terms of fashion, whatever he's doing -- he's pushing boundaries. I think we all were thrilled to present this award to him and the fact that he's coming and accepting, he's so deserving of it."

As for what Kanye will say when he hits the podium, that's anyone's guess. Ignjatovic confessed that even show producers don't know what to expect from Kanye's appearance this year.

"I'm sure he's gonna do something special... I'm excited to have him in the room," Ignjatovic said. "I think he's very happy and honored, and does not take something like this lightly. That's the great thing about him."

One thing's for sure -- we'll be watching! The MTV VMAs air Sunday, Aug. 30, at 9 p.m. ET/PT.