Calvin Harris took home the Moonman at the MTV Video Music Awards for Best Male Video for the mainstream hit “This Is What You Came For,” which features vocals by Rihanna and was secretly co-written by his ex-girlfriend Taylor Swift.
Harris, who was a no-show at Sunday’s awards show, taped a thank-you message that was played for the Madison Square Garden crowd.
“Wow, wow! First of all, I’m so sorry I can’t be there. I have a show tonight in the U.K. otherwise I would definitely be there. MTV, this is crazy,” the 32-year-old Scottish DJ-music producer began his video message, before thanking RiRi. “I need to thank Rihanna from the bottom of my heart. You’re a superstar. Every time we work together you bring something so magical to the project, so thank you.”
Harris also took a moment to single out music video director Emil Nava for his creative vision, but avoided any mention of Swift, who co-wrote the song under the pen name Nils Sjoberg. In July, Swift’s rep confirmed to ET that she had contributed both writing and vocals to the track.
“And everybody who supported this song, who watched this video, I love you so much. Thank you, this is amazing. I love you. Thank you MTV!” he ended his message.
ET was on the scene at the VMAs, and following Harris’ win, boos were heard from the audience, though it wasn’t clear if it was because he skipped the awards show or didn’t give Swift recognition for her creative involvement with the song.
Fans took to Twitter to react to Harris’ presumed shade at the 26-year-old singer.
If you play Calvin Harris's acceptance speech backwards he is saying "Taylor Swift shot JFK"