Courtney Love always puts on a good – albeit often disastrous -- show, so in 1995, when she interrupted Madonna’s MTV interview with Kurt Loder, the producers just let her join in. Madonna kept her cool, but slipped in a few sarcastic zingers, such as, "Courtney Love is in dire need of attention right now." Love talks about how she can’t quit the music business. Madonna’s publicist eventually breaks up the awkward trio, just as Love slips off her chair in one final act of grace. This event was the beginning of a decade-long feud between the two.
Backstage at the 1992 event, Guns N’ Roses’ Axl Rose was apparently teased by Courtney Love, and in response Axl yelled at Love’s husband, Kurt Cobain, to keep his lady in line. A challenge to a fight was had, but a fight did not follow. What did happen is that Nirvana went on stage to perform “Lithium” in a chaotic performance that included Krist Novoselic throwing his bass into the air and…not catching it, but instead getting knocked in the head.
Taylor Swift became an instant “damsel in distress” when the singer went on stage to accept her award for Best Female Video, and her speech was interrupted by Kanye West. He grabbed the mic and proclaimed, "I'm sorry, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time.” West became an instant villain to most of the public. Beyoncé later invited Swift back on stage to finish her speech.
For the first time in more than a decade, Eddie and Alex Van Halen and Michael Anthony were reunited with lead singer David Lee Roth for the 1996 VMAs. But the reunion quickly turned sour. With Roth hogging the spotlight, an exchange with Eddie during backstage interviews nearly exploded into a full-on fight. The band was re-broken up soon after.
After Chelsea Handler hosted the 2010 VMAs, the drama continued when a feud was started between Handler and blogger Perez Hilton. Hilton harshly criticized Handler’s job as host, saying she “really didn’t pull it off…For the most part, we were bored and just hoping she would shut the hell up so we could hear more music.” Handler took to Twitter in response, writing, “oh, f–k off. I had a blast and the show awesome last night. Bomb? Your life is a bomb.”
Sarah Silverman was less than impressed with Britney Spears’ deflated “comeback” performance at the 2007 show. After the princess of pop was done, Silverman had some tough words for her. “Was that incredible? Britney Spears, everyone,” Silverman said. “Wow. She is amazing. She is 25-years-old and she’s already accomplished everything she’s going to accomplish in her life. It’s mind blowing.” “Have you seen Britney’s kids? Oh my god, they are the most adorable mistakes you will ever see!” she continued.
After Moby criticized Eminem’s use of homophobic language at the Grammys, and Eminem shot back that Moby was “a 36-year-old bald headed fag” on his song “Without Me,” Late Night With Conan O'Brien’s Triumph the Insult Comic Dog tried to make light of the feud at the 2002 VMAs. But Eminem wasn’t having it, and shoved the puppet aside. Later, when Eminem won the Best Male Video, he called Moby a “little girl” in his speech, and said, “I will hit a man with glasses."
Who wouldn’t fight over Pamela Anderson? Tommy Lee and Kidd Rock, who have both been in relationships with Anderson, brought their fight to the cameras when they came to blows during the show. Lee walked over to Rock’s table, and then Rock slammed and later punched Lee, according to reports. Both men were escorted out of the show, and Rock was cited for misdemeanor battery.
During the 10th anniversary show, Poison’s Bret Michaels and C.C. DeVille got into a fight backstage after their performance because Michaels was apparently not happy with pink-haired DeVille’s showmanship.
Rapper DMX was scheduled to perform at the 1999 show, but didn’t show up for his rehearsals or the actual performance. Jay-Z played an extra long set to fill the time. The next year, the producers scheduled him to perform again. Yet again, he didn’t show up for rehearsals, so the producers un-invited him to the show. Nelly performed instead.