Taylor Swift says she ‘craved’ respect because of Kanye West interrupting her at the 2009 VMAs

Taylor Swift and Kanye West have had an ongoing feud, beginning in 2009.

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Taylor Swift and Kanye West have had an ongoing feud, beginning in 2009.
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Mark Davis/Getty Images, Walik Goshorn/MediaPunch/IPX
  • Taylor Swift revisited Kanye West’s interruption at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards in an interview with Variety published on Tuesday.
  • The 30-year-old singer shared that although the onstage interaction was “burrowed into my psyche more than anyone knew,” she made a conscious decision that the moment would drive her forward.
  • “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.”
  • Her feud with West will be addressed in her upcoming Netflix documentary, “Miss Americana,” which is set for release on January 31.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Taylor Swift revealed that while Kanye West‘s interruption at the 2009 VMAs shook the then 17-year-old, it pushed her to demand respect in the years that followed.

In an interview published by Variety on Tuesday, Swift acknowledged that she felt like everyone was booing her when West stormed the stage to contest her best female video win for “You Belong With Me.”

“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.’ That message was received, and it burrowed into my psyche more than anyone knew.”

Kanye West interrupted Taylor Swift at the 2009 VMAs.

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Kanye West interrupted Taylor Swift at the 2009 VMAs.
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Getty Images / Christopher Polk

The 30-year-old singer reflected on the formative moment and explained that rather than shying away from the spotlight, she channeled her emotions into her work.

“That can push you one of two ways: 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.”

Swift and West briefly cleared the air in 2015 following the public debacle, however the feud picked up again when the rapper dropped “Famous,” a track with the lyrics, “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that b—- famous.” The “Bad Blood” singer claimed she didn’t grant approval, and their disagreement continued.

Kanye West and Taylor Swift made amends in 2015.

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Kanye West and Taylor Swift made amends in 2015.
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Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

“But then when that person who sparked all of those feelings comes back into your life, as he did in 2015, and I felt like I finally got that respect (from West), but then soon realized that for him it was about him creating some revisionist history where he was right all along, and it was correct, right and decent for him to get up and do that to a teenage girl,” Swift told Variety.

While she doesn’t often address her relationship with West, the first song on her August 2019 album “Lover” is titled “I Forgot That You Existed,” and many listeners have speculated that the track alludes to the rapper – specifically to the fact that Swift has moved past their drama. She told Variety that she doesn’t “think too hard about this stuff now.”

Swift will also revisit her up-and-down relationship with West in her upcoming Netflix documentary, “Miss Americana,” which will offer an inside look at the singer’s life throughout her career.

The documentary will be released on Netflix on January 31.