Kanye’s timely Vanguard
MTV announced today that the recipient of this year’s Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award to be presented at the VMAs on Sunday is Kanye West. This per the announcement:
Throughout his career, West has blended musical and visual artistry to powerful effect. From his trilogy of videos for “Jesus Walks,” to the mind-bending animation of “Heartless,” to the arresting imagery of “Bound 2,” he’s pushed boundaries and delivered something new with every successive video.
West is also known for some of the most visually stunning VMA performances to date including, 2013’s “Blood on the Leaves,” “Otis” with JAY Z in 2011, the innovative, theatrical staging and visuals of “Runaway” in 2010, his performance debut with auto-tune on “Love Lockdown” in 2008, the hugely-influential, Daft Punk-sampling “Stronger” and “Good Life” with T-Pain in 2007; the mega-hit “Gold Digger” featuring Jamie Foxx in 2005, and his VMA debut performance with a medley of “Jesus Walks/All Falls Down/Through The Wire” featuring Chaka Khan in 2004.
With this honor, West joins the prestigious list of past Vanguard recipients including Michael Jackson, Madonna, Peter Gabriel, Guns N’ Roses, Beastie Boys, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and BEYONCÉ.
MTV’s timing though…
It’s kind of amazing, non?
Taylor Swift has the most nominations this year at the VMAs. Six years ago at the VMAs, Kanye interrupted Taylor on stage. And now he’s invited on stage to receive the show’s highest honour. There are some people, like my friend and colleague Traci Melchor, who believe that had Kanye not Kanyed Taylor back in 2009, and subsequently laying the world’s sympathy at her feet, that she would not have become as famous as quickly as she did. Debatable.
But they’ll be linked again, somehow. Can’t wait to see what that looks like on Sunday.
Here’s Kanye performing at FYF Fest on Saturday. Rihanna was there and though it was unplanned, she ended up joining him on a couple of songs. Which brings up the next question – aside from his wife and her 10,000 family members, who will be at the VMAs to honour Kanye? He’s collaborated with a lot of people. One of his favourite collaborators is Jay Z. And Beyonce and Taylor are going head to head for Video of the Year. With Miley hosting. Am I stupid to be excited?
Brian Gove/ Michael Tullberg/ Gabriel Olsen/ Getty Images