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The MTV Video Music Awards are never without over-the-top performances and buzz-worthy moments, and this year’s show is sure to be no different.
But before Miley Cyrus takes the stage to host the 32nd annual ceremony on Sunday night, THR looks back at ten of the VMAs‘ craziest antics from previous years.
1. Kanye West interrupts Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech.
Perhaps the most buzzed about moment of all, Kanye West rushed the stage in the middle of Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech soon after the pop star was awarded a moonman for best female video at the 2009 VMAs. Claiming that her music video for “You Belong With Me” wasn’t worthy of the prize, the rapper told her, “Yo, Taylor — I’m really happy for you. Imma let you finish, but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time.” Beyonce later brought Swift back to the stage to properly present her speech when she won the night’s biggest honor, video of the year. “I remember being 17 years old up for my first MTV award with Destiny’s Child, and it was one of the most exciting moments in my life,” she told the audience. “So, I’d like for Taylor to come out and have her moment.”
2. Madonna smooches Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera.
Before Madonna made headlines for laying one on Drake during her surprise guest set at this year’s Coachella festival, the singer turned heads when she kissed both Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera during their joint performance of “Like a Virgin” and “Hollywood” at the 2003 awards show.
3. Rage Against the Machine’s Tim Commerford rages against Limp Bizkit.
In 2000, Rage Against the Machine bassist Tim Commerford climbed atop a 15-foot-tall set piece onstage in protest after Limp Bizkit won the moonman for best rock video. Commerford refused to come down and was subsequently arrested and spent the night in jail.
4. Fiona Apple declares “this world is bullshit.”
At the 1997 VMAs, Fiona Apple decided to skip all of the “thank yous” during her acceptance speech for best new artist, and instead, used her time at the podium to deliver a poignant message. “I didn’t prepare a speech and I’m sorry, but I’m glad that I didn’t because I’m not gonna do this like everybody else does it,” the singer said. “What I wanna say is … this world is bullshit. You shouldn’t model your life about what you think we think is cool and what we’re wearing and what we’re saying and everything. Go with yourself.”
5. Michael Jackson receives the nonexistent “artist of the millennium” award.
A miscommunication at the 2000 VMAs led to Michael Jackson delivering a heartfelt acceptance speech for an award that didn’t exist. That year, MTV planned to allocate some show time to celebrate the King of Pop’s birthday. But when Britney Spears introduced Jackson onstage as someone she considers to be the “artist of the millennium,” Jackson mistakenly thought he was receiving an official award for that title.
6. Miley Cyrus waves her foam finger.
The “Wrecking Ball” singer joined Robin Thicke onstage for a racy performance of his hit “Blurred Lines,” during which Cyrus twerked in front of Thicke and made suggestive gestures with a foam finger. Following the show, the FCC became flooded with complaints from outraged viewers who deemed the performance “crude” and “shameful.”
7. Lady Gaga arrives as Jo Calderone.
Though Lady Gaga was absent from the 2011 awards show, her alter-ego, Jo Calderone, made an appearance. The pop star, donning a black blazer, sideburns and a black wig, stayed in character for the entire ceremony, even while performing her single “You and I.” One year prior, Lady Gaga shocked attendees and viewers when she arrived at the show wearing a dress made of raw meat.
8. Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch rushes the stage.
Before Kanye West cut Taylor Swift’s speech off back in 2009, Beastie Boys member Adam Yauch was the first to do it. In 1994, Yauch, dressed as his alter-ego Nathaniel Hornblower, stormed the stage as R.E.M. accepted their award for best director for “Everybody Hurts.” Declaring, “This is an outrage! This is a farce!” Yauch argued that Spike Jonze should have won the award for directing Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage” music video.
9. Diana Ross gets handsy with Lil’ Kim.
While presenting the award for best hip-hop video in 1999, Diana Ross got up-close and a little too personal with Lil’ Kim, who came to the show wearing a purple jumpsuit that revealed her left breast (which she covered with a pasty). Instead of greeting the rapper with a customary hug or handshake, Ross reached over and gave her co-presenter’s exposed breast a jiggle.
10. Beyonce debuts her baby bump.
Beyonce performed her single “Love on Top” at the 2011 awards show dressed in a modest blazer and black slacks. At the end of her set, she unbuttoned her blazer and exposed her growing baby bump, publicly announcing her pregnancy for the first time and garnering rousing applause from the audience (and husband Jay Z who was standing in front).
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