Taylor Swift Insists Kanye West Sent Her A Strong, Scarring Message With 2009 VMAs Diss

In her candid profile with Variety, Taylor Swift opened up about the infamous VMAs moment in 2009, where she took to heart Kanye West’s message and explained how it ‘burrowed into her psyche’ for years to come.

It’s been well over 10 years since that infamous September night at the MTV VMAs when Taylor Swift, 30, was interrupted by Kanye West, 42, as she accepted the Moon Man for Best Female Video. Though time has passed, Taylor still holds onto that memory, and the message it sent her by one of her industry colleagues. “As a teenager who had only been in country music, attending my very first pop awards show, somebody stood up and sent me the message: ‘You are not respected here. You shouldn’t be here on this stage,’” Taylor shared in her cover story for Variety, published on Jan. 21. For Taylor, the spectacle completely changed her world and contributed to some of the more difficult moments she maneuvered throughout the rest of her career.

The “Lover” songstress took Kanye’s actions to heart. “That message was received, and it burrowed into my psyche more than anyone knew,” she confessed to the outlet. But rather than give into public pressure, the Grammy winner chose to turn the moment on its head. “That can push you one of two ways,” Taylor recollected of her state of mind following the 2009 MTV VMAs. “I could have just curled up and decided I’m never going to one of those events ever again, or it could make me work harder than anyone expects me to, and try things no one expected, and crave that respect — and hopefully one day get it.”

Well over a decade later, Taylor has seemingly earned what she sought out. She’s transitioned from a Country darling to a contemporary pop songstress, and earned all sorts of accolades and honors along the way. She was named Billboard‘s Woman of the Decade in December 2019, broke the record for most accumulated American Music Awards, and continues to add to her Grammy Award nomination count — which now stands at 35 nominations and 10 wins. Upon reflection, Taylor revealed whether or not she still ruminates on the moment she shared unwillingly with Kanye in 2009. “I don’t think too hard about this stuff now.”

Kanye West interrupts Taylor Swift as she accepted the Best Female Video Award at the MTV VMAs in 2009 [REX/Shutterstock].

Taylor is entering 2020 with a whole new verve all her own. Lover marked a major return to form for the singer and songwriter, as she readies for the upcoming Grammy Awards on January 26. On top of that excitement, Taylor is also poised to debut her documentary Taylor Swift: Miss Americana on Jan. 23 at the Sundance Film Festival, prior to its Netflix release on Jan. 31. With all of this excitement, fans cannot wait to see what the future holds for the lauded artist in the next decade!

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