Tribute and controversy mark music video awards
Sep 14, 2009, 15:26 GMT
Taylor Swift at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards in New York City, NY, USA. © Sylvain Gaboury / PR Photos
New York - Madonna paid a moving tribute to Michael Jackson and rapper Kanye West stirred controversy at the MTV Video Music Awards Sunday night as Beyonce, Britney Spears and Green Day took top prizes.
West was booed by the audience when he strode onto the stage as young country star Taylor Swift was making her thank you speech for best female video, in which she beat the likes of Beyonce and Lady Gaga with her video for You Belong to me.
'I always wondered what it would be like to maybe win one of these someday, but never actually thought it would happen,' said the 19-year-old.
West then jumped on stage and said: 'Taylor, I'm really happy for you, and I'm gonna let you finish, but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time.'
The audience began to boo as cameras panned to Beyonce, who looked stunned. Beyonce later won Video of the Year for her hit Single Ladies and called Swift back up to the stage to finish her speech.
Madonna opened the show by paying respect to Michael Jackson, who died on June 25 aged 50 from an overdose of a powerful anaesthetic he was given as a sleep aid.
'He was a king. But he was also a human being and alas, we are all human beings and sometimes we have to lose things before we can truly appreciate them.' Madonna said. After her speech Jackson clones took the stage to mimic his dance moves on some of his most famous hits, before Janet Jackson sang her hit Scream.
The Jackson tribute and Kanye antics almost overshadowed the prizes themselves. Green Day won best rock video for 21 Guns, while Britney Spears took home the best pop video for Womanizer.
Other highlights of the evening included the unveiling of the trailer for the film based on Jackson's rehearsals for his comeback engagement in London, and an extended trailer for the Twilight movie sequel New Moon.