Six years after having her spotlight stolen by Kanye West, Taylor Swift took to the stage at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards to present the rapper with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award.
“I’ma let you finish, but Kanye West has had one of the greatest careers of all time,” the pop star said before presenting the award to West with a long hug. She could be seen in the crowd standing next to West’s wife, Kim Kardashian, for the remainder of the speech.
After taking several minutes to bask in the cheers from the crowd, West offered a mea culpa for taking the microphone from Swift in 2009, took politics and awards shows to task, and announced his plan to run for president in 2020 in a long, rambling acceptance speech.
“Thank you, Taylor, for being so gracious and giving me the award this evening,” West said. “I think, if I had to do it all again, what would I have done? … If I had a daughter at that time, would I have went on stage and grabbed the microphone from someone else’s?”
“The problem was the contradiction,” he continued. “The contradiction is that I do fight for artists, but in that fight, I somehow was disrespectful to artists.”
He went on to criticize awards shows for making artists compete against one another, and positioning some of the most successful artists in the world as losers in the public eye.
“If my grandfather was here right now, he would not let me back down,” he said. “I don’t know what I’m going to lose after this. It don’t matter, though, because it ain’t about me, bro! It’s about ideas!”
“And yes, as you probably could’ve guessed by this moment, I have decided in 2020 to run for president,” he said just before walking off the stage.
— MTV (@MTV) August 31, 2015