Music

Nicki, Taylor, and Miley Have a High Bar to Clear For Best VMA Beefs

by Eric Thurm

Taylor Swift's awkward Twitter feud with Nicki Minaj over the institutional racism of the VMAs/everything was thiiiis close to being successfully resolved -- Swift apologized, and Nicki accepted the apology. Sadly, VMAs host Miley Cyrus -- as great as she is -- has tried to insert herself into the conversation, claiming in an interview with The New York Times that Minaj was "unkind" and not approaching Taylor Swift in the right way. Many people decried it as an attempt to tell a black woman how she should deal with institutional racism, and contributes to the music industry's history of whitewashing (or, in this case, 'whitesplaining'). But it's also not even close to the best beef leading up to and/or resulting from the VMAs.

Because the VMAs are designed to produce so much pageantry, it's not surprising that they also lead to conflict. Some of these conflicts are captured in our look at the awards' most memorable moments, like Moby and Eminem's fight in 2002 or the Kanye West-Taylor Swift interruption of 2009.



Sometimes, there are just extreme tensions and heat between players at the awards, like the conflict at the heart of the attempted Van Halen reunion in 1996.



But there's also been physical violence at the ceremony, like in 1991, when Bret Michaels got into a fistfight with once and future Poison bandmate C.C. DeVille. In 2007, Kid Rock slapped Tommy Lee, leading to a fight that got both dudes thrown out of the venue. None of this, however, compares to the sniping between RuPaul and Milton Berle. "You used to wear gowns and now you wear diapers" is a stone-cold classic.



Miley, Taylor, Nicki -- if you're planning anything for the VMAs, you probably shouldn't do it. But if you do, put in the effort to make sure you clear this high, insane, soapy bar.

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