Memorable moments: MTV Video Music Awards
The 2001 VMAs sported many highlights, but Michael Jackson’s return to the limelight stole the show. ‘NSYNC just finished performing their lead single “Pop” off their third and final studio album, “Celebrity,” when an outline of the “King of Pop” appeared on a giant Etch-A-Sketch. As the image lifted, Jackson walked out in his signature look and started performing his iconic dance movements while then-'NSYNC member Justin Timberlake beat-boxed in the background. Jackson’s performance was to drum up anticipation for his latest album “Invincible,” which was his first release of new music in over six years.
Video: ‘NSYNC bring out MJ at 2001 VMAs (Kevin Kane / WireImage)
Eminem would never say that he was homophobic, but he’d definitely tell you about a disturbed fan named Stan who, through his lyrics, became increasingly violent as his idolized star unintentionally ignored him. The rap was so powerful that musician and fan Elton John decided to accompany the Detroit rapper when he presented it to the MTV crowd. Em was most likely out to address critics who had been calling him a homophobe, and Elton didn’t mind helping him out. Who knows if the message was received, but the performance was great. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)
Diddy doesn’t seem to do things intimate. The producer/rapper rose from under the stage to conduct an orchestra that scored one of Biggie Smalls’ hit songs, “Juicy,” while the notorious one was shown performing his rap on a big screen behind. With Diddy dancing around the stage, continuing to conduct, Snoop Dogg ascended to put the scene over the top as he rapped with B.I.G. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images)
“I’m-a let you finish ... " became the catchphrase of 2009 after rapper Kanye West interrupted budding songstress Taylor Swift at the VMAs. Just after Swift accepted the award for Best Female Video for “You Belong to Me,” West walked up on the stage, grabbed the mic and said the award should have gone to Beyonce for “Single Ladies.” Later, West apologized and stepped out of the limelight. Swift performed “Innocent,” a song about the West incident, a year later at the VMAs.
Full story: Kanye West apologizes to Taylor Swift | Taylor Swift accepts Kanye West’s apology (Jason DeCrow / Associated Press)