The night was supposed to belong to Janet Michael Jackson. The MTV Video Music Awards certainly started out that way.
But after Madonna's heartfelt speech about the fallen star and Janet's stunning performance, a new feud was born, dominated the evening and then petered out just as quickly.
Yes, we're talking about Kanye West and Taylor Swift.
When sweet Swift won her award for Best Female Video, besting Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Pink, Kelly Clarkson and Katy Perry.
Shortly after she began her acceptance speech, West jumped onstage and pulled the microphone from her hand, saying, "I'm really happy for you, I'll let you finish, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time."
Jaws dropped, confusion took over, and Tay-Tay left the stage with nary another heard word.
"I was standing onstage and I was really excited because I had just won an award and then I was really excited because Kanye West was on the stage," Taylor told E! News in the press room. "And then, um, I wasn't so excited anymore after that."
The next time West's name came up during the telecast, all of Radio City Music Hall booed.
And then Beyoncé saved the day.
When Queen B won for Video of the Year, she recalled her first Video Music Awards and invited "Taylor to come out and have her moment."
"I thought that I couldn't love Beyoncé more than tonight and then that happened," Taylor said later, admitting she was a fan of West. "They told me to stand by the side of the stage and I didn't really know what was going to go down but I thought it was so wonderful and gracious of her."
Rumor had it that Kanye exited stage left immediately after the incident, apparently because he was feeling rather sheepish. Earlier on the red carpet, he'd been holding a bottle of Hennessey and taking swigs off it.
"I'm sooooo sorry to Taylor Swift and her fans and her mom," West wrote on his all-caps blog. "I spoke to her mother right after and she said the same thing my mother would've said. She is very talented...I'm sorry to my fans if I let you guys down!!!! I'm sorry to my friends at MTV. I will apologize to Taylor 2mrw."
Of course, in typical Kanye fashion, the apology turned a bit sour in the end.
"Welcome to the real world," he wrote. "Everybody wanna booooo me but I'm a fan of real pop culture!!! No disrespect but we watchin' the show at the crib right now cause...well you know...I'm not crazy y'all, I'm just real."
And the post has since been removed.
If Kanye was a sour patch kid, Taylor remained a total gummy bear about the whole thing.
"I don't know him and I don't want to start anything," she told E! News. "I had a great night tonight. I've been getting so many text messages and everybody's been really really nice. I've had a really fun night. It's definitely been an interesting night."
Do you think Kanye's apology was sincere? While you ponder that check out all the night's big moments in our 2009 Video Music Awards gallery!