Kanye West at VMAs: I'm running for US President
Rap superstar Kanye West railed against awards shows and announced he would run for president in 2020 as he collected MTV's highest honour at the Video Music Awards.
West received the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award from singer Taylor Swift six years after he famously interrupted her acceptance speech for an award at the same ceremony.
In a long and rambling speech at the ceremony in Los Angeles, West admitted he had smoked something before arriving to calm his nerves.
Addressing Swift, he said: "I often think back to the first day I met you. You know I think about it when I'm in the grocery store with my daughter and I have a really great conversation about fresh juice and they say to me, 'Oh you're not that bad after all'.
"I think about it sometimes, it crosses my mind a little bit when I go to a baseball game and 60,000 people boo me. It crosses my mind a little bit. I think if I had to do it all again what would I have done? Would I have worn a leather shirt, would I have drunk half a bottle of Hennessy and given the other half to the audience? If I had a daughter, would I have gone on stage and grabbed the mic from someone else's?"
Watched by his pregnant wife Kim Kardashian, he continued: "I still don't understand awards shows, I don't understand how they get five people who work their entire life, sold records, sold concert tickets, to stand on a red carpet, to come and for the first time in their life stand on the chopping block and be considered a loser.
"I don't understand it, I'm conflicted bro. I just want people to like me more but f*** that bro.
"I will die for the art, for what I believe in and the art ain't always going to be polite. I bet they are thinking right now if I smoked something before this and the answer is yes, I rolled up a little something to take the edge of."
After holding his head in his hands for an extended period of time, he added: "It's about ideas, people who believe in truth. And yes, as you probably could have guessed, I have decided in 2020 to run for president."
Announcing West as the winner of the award, Swift said she met the rapper for the first time when he walked on to the stage at the VMAs in 2009 as she was receiving the best female video award.
He interrupted her speech to declare Beyonce was the more worthy winner.
Swift told the crowd: "I first met Kanye West at this show six years ago and since then we have a had lot of time to talk about a lot of things. The whole world knew about our exchange at the VMAs but most people don't know his album College Dropout was the first album I bought on iTunes when I was 12."
Referring to West's rant when he interrupted her speech six years ago, she added: "I guess I have to say to all the other winners, I'm really happy for you and I'm going to let you finish, but Kanye West has had one of the greatest careers of all time."
Earlier in the show Swift and rapper Nicki Minaj put aside their alleged feud to perform their hits together.
Swift, who is nominated for ten moonman statues, appeared on stage in a co-ordinating red sequinned outfit with the Anaconda singer.
Minaj performed Trini Dem Girls before introducing Swift as her guest for a rendition of The Night Is Still Young and a brief bit of Swift's hugely successful single Bad Blood.
The musicians shared some heated exchanges on Twitter after the VMA nominations were announced but have since reconciled on social media and hugged on stage at the show.
Taylor Swift says sorry to Nicki Minaj after MTV awards Twitter row
Swift, who is the most nominated artist of the night, was an early winner at the ceremony, collecting best female video for Blank Space.
British DJ and producer Mark Ronson won best male video for his hit Uptown Funk featuring singer Bruno Mars.
In another dramatic moment during the show, rapper Nicki Minaj appeared to launch in to a rant at host Miley Cyrus after Cyrus said in an earlier interview that Minaj was being a poor sport about not receiving a nomination for video of the year.
After picking up the moonman statue for best hip hop video for her raunchy accompaniment to her single Anaconda, Minaj told the audience: "And now back to this b***h that had a lot to say about me a lot in the press. Miley, what's good?"
Minaj's microphone was cut off, and Cyrus replied from across the stage that her words had been manipulated.
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Swift won the final award of the televised broadcast, scoring video of the year for her hit Bad Blood.
The singer collected the gong from Straight Outta Compton star O'Shea Jackson Jr and his father Ice Cube and she was accompanied by many of the video's stars, including Selena Gomez, Cara Delevingne, Karlie Kloss and Lily Aldridge.
The show ended with a surprise performance from Cyrus, flanked by The Flaming Lips and numerous drag queens, before the star announced she would be releasing her new album online for free.
The MTV Video Music Awards air on MTV UK tonight at 8pm.