I'm just going to anticipate all the shade that will inevitably the thrown at next year's VMA's, and propose to rename it celebrity-beef-a-thon 2015. Historically, this award show has been the arena for a host of celeb resentment, and this year was no exception. You probably heard that, allegedly Miley Cyrus called Ed Sheeran an asshole at Sunday's VMAs. Making headlines for something other than her VMA date, Cyrus remained stone-faced and didn't applaud at all when Sheeran accepted his award for "Best Male Video" and appeared to mouth "asshole." Is it cold in here? 'Cause that dude just got iced.
Frankly, the footage is so pixellated and Cyrus' face is so blurry that you can't tell with absolute certainty what she's saying. I must admit though, Cyrus has probable cause to call Sheeran a sphincter. He was famously critical of her "Wrecking Ball" video last year, saying in an interview:
It’s a stripper’s move. If I had a daughter of mine, I wouldn’t want her twerking. When I first heard "Wrecking Ball", I thought it was a brilliant song. But the video distracts too much from it.
Naturally, shade attracts shade. Plus, if someone went all Eisenhower era patriarch on me with the "daughter of mine" crap like Sheeran did with Cyrus, I'd call this statement what it was: a demonstration of an individual's assholery. Why don't we examine the evidence? She's definitely not saying "Way to go!"
What better night to spill my tea than on the music industry's greatest annual eve of sorta-confrontation, the MTV VMA's. Let's take a walk down memory lane, and remember some of the greatest instances of pop star on pop star shade at the Video Music Awards over the years.
Madonna Vs. Courtney Love in 1995
Who can forget the infamous Madonna interview hijack of 1995, executed by the one and only Courtney Love. As Kurt Loder probes Madonna for details regarding her new album and her love life, Love throws pebbles impishly up at Madonna as she tries to speak seriously in her half-British accent. "Should we let her up?" Madonna asks Kurt, continuing, "No, don't please." Later, Madge goes on to say "Courtney Love is in dire need of attention right now." Further choice shady quotes come from Love, as she baits Madonna about the animal politics of her outfit. Pure. Shade. Gold.
Triumph the Insult Comic Dog vs. Eminem in 2002
Eminem takes himself very seriously for someone who has deigned to wear the Tom Green "Bum Bum Song" costume at one point in his life. At the 2002 VMAs, Triumph, the jocular roast-comic canine puppet, tried to get a rise out of Eminem and succeeded, well, triumphantly. Triumph spent a few moments taking the piss out of Moby before he attempted to move on to Eminem, who would have none of this tom-foolery. The rapper shoved Triumph out of his face, refusing to indulge any of the lightheartedness. AWKWARD.
Christina Aguilera vs. Eminem in 2002
Eminem went back for a second helping of beef this year, living up to his title as The Real Slim Shady. The feud between Eminem and Xtina was sparked on slut-shamey lyrics that the rapper wrote of the singer. When she presented the "Best Male Video" award to him that year, she chucked "Haha, interesting," doling out a bit of well-deserved passive aggression.
Taylor Swift vs. Kanye West in 2009
Ah, the "I'mma let you finish" heard round the world. Kanye cutting off Swift when she won "Video of the Year" in 2009 is one of the most epic moments of shady activity ever cast in VMA history. Since Kanye said this to her face, it may not be considered shade by some, but it's indubitably one of the most profound insults in award show history.
Rihanna vs. Drake in 2010
After her ex-boyfriend Drake performed with Mary J. Blige at the 2010 VMAs, the handy-dandy audience cam cut to Rihanna giving her best bud du jour Katy Paty a "pshht, whatever" gesture. Ex-lovers at the VMAs are always shade magnets.
Rihanna vs. Young Money in 2012
As Drake, Nicki Minaj, and Little Wayne took the stage at the 2012 VMAs to accept the award for Best Hip Hop Video "HYFR", the audience cam caught Rihanna in a moment of candor. 'Kay, so it's another classic game of the lip read game, but Riri isn't any stranger to running a secret read behind your back. See above.
Taylor Swift vs. Harry Styles in 2013
Beyond dancing in her seat, Taylor Swift's other main non-musical talent is talking shit. During the 2013 VMA's, Swift allegedly mouthed "shut the fuck up" as former rumored fling Harry Styles went onstage with the rest of 1D. Former bestie Selena Gomez politely said nothing, probably trying to change the subject from a topic she's totally over hearing about. Later on that night, Swift won "Best Female Video" for "I Knew You Were Trouble", and gave a jibe to the person whom the song was about, rumored to be Styles. Dedicating the award to "who I wrote this song about 'cause you know who you are and now I have this award." Bu-dum-bum, CHING!
Katy Perry vs. Fifth Harmony in 2014
This year, when rising girl band Fifth Harmony won the Artist to Watch VMA, Katy Perry turned to her peanut-gallery partner for the year Sam Smith and mouthed "Who are they?" Not a good look, Katy. You were a relative unknown once, too.
Obviously, a VMA retreat before the actually ceremony may help all these cranky pop stars sort out their issues. There's nothing a few team-building exercises can't fix.