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VMAs flashback! See what the awards show looked like in 2009

Ahead of the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards, we take a look back at some of the iconic moments from the 2009 VMAS, including Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift when she won best female video of the year.
Kim Kardashian, Justin Bieber and Pink at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards.
Kim Kardashian, Justin Bieber and Pink at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards.Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

The 2009 MTV Video Music Awards ceremony, held on Sept. 13, 2009, ended up going down in history as an iconic year for pop culture, mostly because Kanye West interrupted Taylor Swift when she won best female video of the year.

But that awards show was full of nuggets of pop culture gold.

From Lady Gaga's jaw-dropping performance of "Paparazzi" and "Poker Face" to Janet Jackson's tribute to her brother who had just passed away, it was an all-around memorable year for music and the celebrity that surrounds it.

In honor of the 2019 VMAs, let's take a look back at highlights from 10 years ago.

2009 MTV Video Music Awards - Show
Kevin Mazur / WireImage

Janet Jackson honored her late brother...

In the aftermath of Michael Jackson's death in June of 2009, the show featured various tributes to the King of Pop, including an opening act featuring a medley of his biggest hits and a special appearance by Janet Jackson, who performed their duet "Scream" with a synched-up video.

2009 MTV Video Music Awards - Show
Kevin Mazur / WireImage

... and so did Madonna.

The Queen of Pop surprised the audience by opening the show with a long speech about Jackson. She concluded her speech with: "Yes, Michael Jackson was a human being but he was a king. Long live the king."

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Height of "The Hills"

The cast of "The Hills" — including Lauren Conrad, Whitney Port, Kristin Cavallari and Stephanie Pratt — all made appearances on the red carpet to promote their MTV reality hit, which started in 2006 and aired until 2010.

2009 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals
Dimitrios Kambouris / WireImage

Taylor Lautner

The then 17-year-old actor was there that night with the rest of the "Twilight" cast, promoting the next installment of the popular vampire franchise, "New Moon."

2009 MTV Video Music Awards - Show
Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic

The mic drop heard about the world.

In what Rolling Stone would deem one of the "wildest" moments in the history of the MTV Video Music Awards, Kanye West walked onto the stage and interrupted 19-year-old Taylor Swift, who was giving her acceptance speech for best female video "You Belong with Me."

The 32-year-old rapper took her microphone, saying: "Yo, Taylor, I'm really happy for you, I'mma let you finish, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time! One of the best videos of all time!"

The rest is pretty much history.

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Pink chewed out Kanye

Last week, Billboard published an oral history of what went on behind-the-scenes of the 2009 ceremony, and one of the juiciest pieces of info was that after West interrupted Swift, Pink got in his face in defense of Swift.

"She was pointing in his face and nodding her head back and forth, and giving him her two cents about how f---ed up this was and then stormed off," one producer told Billboard, adding that after she told him off, the "Sober" singer could be seen giving West the middle finger.

2009 MTV Video Music Awards - Red Carpet
Kevin Mazur / WireImage

Pink and Shakira wore the same dress (and were super cool about it)

Pink and Shakira showed up that night wearing the same Balmain studded leather dress. The pair seemed to have a sense of humor about it and posed for a picture together inside the show.

2009 MTV Video Music Awards - Outside
James Devaney / WireImage

The show must go on!

Even though Taylor Swift had just been interrupted onstage, the 19-year-old country star had to get it together and perform live minutes later in the streets of New York City.

In that Billboard oral history, one producer calls Swift a real pro, while another adds she "dealt with it with true dignity and professionalism," and "pretty quickly channeled that energy into determination."

MTV Video Music Awards 2009 - Arrivals - New York
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J.Lo and Marc Anthony

Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony looked radiant on the red carpet together. Later that night, Lopez presented the award for best hip-hop video to Eminem.

2009 MTV Video Music Awards - Red Carpet
Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic

Amanda Bynes

The actress was all smiles on the red carpet of the 2009 VMAs.

MTV Music Video Awards 2009 VMAS 2019 Katy Perry
Patrick McMullan / Getty Images

Katy Perry

Perry, who earlier that summer had begun dating the host of that evening, Russell Brand, performed "We Will Rock You" with Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry.

Patrick McMullan Archives
Patrick McMullan / Getty Images

Perez Hilton

Gossip blogger Perez Hilton was pretty in pink with yellow gloves.

2009 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals Justin Bieber
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Justin Bieber

The 15-year-old pop star was still sporting his signature hair style on the red carpet before he hit the stage to introduce Taylor Swift.

2009 MTV Video Music Awards - Kim Kardashian VMAs
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Kim Kardashian (no West, yet)

We're not sure if Kim Kardashian actually went to the VMAs itself, but the paparazzi did snap some pics of the reality television star attending some of the after-parties.

VMAs Lady Gaga MTV Video Music Awards 2009
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A gigantic year for "Gaga"

One pop princess the Kanye/Taylor drama didn't outshine was Lady Gaga, who at a mere 23 years old reigned supreme multiple times throughout the evening. From her jaw-dropping fashion choices on the red carpet to winning best new artist, Gaga made a name for herself as a pop force to be reckoned with.

Nothing is more evident of that than her bloodied mashup performance of "Poker Face" and "Paparazzi" from that night, widely considered to be one of Gaga's greatest performances to date.

2009 MTV Video Music Awards - Beyonce
Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic

Beyoncé slays...

But the night really belonged to Queen Bey in the end. Even though she was reportedly a puddle of tears backstage after the Kanye/Taylor incident, she put herself together for a performance of "Single Ladies" that fans still turn to today.

2009 MTV Video Music Awards - Taylor Swift and Beyonce
Kevin Mazur / WireImage

... and wins big.

In the end, she won the penultimate award of the evening, and in true queen fashion, she brought Swift up onstage to continue the speech she didn't have the chance to finish earlier in the night.

It's interesting how so many people remember the beginning of that story, but so few remember the end: women supporting other women.

The 2019 MTV VMAs will air live on Monday, Aug. 26 at 8:00 p.m. EST on MTV.

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