For a man so hung up on being original, [artist id="1230523"]Kanye West[/artist] pulled the oldest trick in the book on Sunday night at the VMAs when he crashed the stage during Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech for Best Female Video.
For the third time at a major music awards show, West invited himself onto the stage for a righteously indignant rant against the winner, in this case the squeaky-clean, 19-year-old country phenom whose second album, Fearless, has been an unmovable staple of the top 10 for much of the past year.
And though it grabbed the headlines, got Kanye tossed from the show , was blasted by fellow celebrities on Twitter, and led to a somewhat heartfelt apology, West’s latest outburst is just the most recent in the long, weird tradition of stage crashers at major entertainment events. (Did we mention that Lil Mama inexplicably wandered out during Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’ performance too?)
The year 1998 was a historic one for stage storming, with two of the most notorious interjections of all time, both of which took place at that year’s Grammys. The most bizarre was when performance artist Michael Portnoy managed to get hired to dance during Bob Dylan’s performance of “Love Sick” and then proceeded to gyrate spastically with his shirt off and the words “Soy Bomb” written across his chest. Dylan gave Portnoy a nod and then kept going, until security whisked the instantly famous crasher off the stage a short time later.
That same night, late Wu-Tang Clan rapper Ol’ Dirty Bastard pulled the original Kanye, grabbing the mic from singer Shawn Colvin during her acceptance speech for Song of the Year and ranting about the Clan’s loss to Puff Daddy for Best Rap Album earlier in the evening. “It’s nice that I went and bought me an outfit today that costed a lot of money today, you know what I mean? ‘Cause I figured that Wu-Tang was gonna win,”
Dirty lamented. “I don’t know how you all see it, but when it comes to the children, Wu-Tang is for the children. We teach the children. You know what I mean? Puffy is good, but Wu-Tang is the best. OK?”
And who could forget the 2000 VMAs, when Rage Against the Machine bassist [flipbook id="1563847"]Tim
Commerford climbed[/flipbook] up the stage scaffolding and shook the set during a Best Rock Video acceptance speech from Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst?
Sometimes the intruder is a nobody, such as the gentleman by the name of Nicholas “Sixx” King, who made a habit of interrupting speeches for a few years. He did his best in 2006 to hijack Panic! At the Disco’s win for Video of the Year for “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” when he ran up onstage and grabbed the microphone from singer Brendon Urie and complained about MTV not giving him his own show. The self-proclaimed “professional awards show crasher” — who also interrupted the Foo Fighters during their Grammy acceptance speech in 2003 — was quickly hustled off by security and has laid low ever since. That was also the same year Mos Def almost crashed the party by performing an impromptu set outside the venue, which promptly got him arrested.
There doesn’t appear to be a three-strikes-you’re-out law for awards-show gate-crashing, but if there were, we might not have Kanye to kick around anymore.
The 2009 MTV Video Music Awards might have wrapped, but the party is far from over. Stay tuned for behind-the-scenes updates, party reports and much more.