From walkouts to tirades, West, 32, has become well-known for his award-show antics, backstage blustering and political statements. Here are his five greatest hits:
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Drama at the American Music Awards
November 11, 2004
Way back in 2004, West lost as best new artist to country star Gretchen Wilson – and stormed out of the show. “I was definitely robbed,” he later told the Associated Press. “I was the best new artist this year.” (West later apologized to Wilson.)
Charity Concert Turns Uncharitable
September 2, 2005
It was supposed to be a Red Cross fund-raising drive for victims of Hurricane Katrina. Instead, as an uncomfortable Mike Myers stood nearby, West delivered a minute-long televised rant criticizing the government’s response to the disaster: “George Bush doesn’t care about black people,” said West.
His comments aired live on NBC on the East Coast and, although they were edited from the West Coast version, the clip went viral. The following week, West was unapologetic. “People have lost their lives, lost their families,” he told Ellen DeGeneres. “It’s the least I could do to go up there and say something from my heart.”
Stage Crashing European-Style
November 2, 2006
West was having a good night at the MTV Europe Music Awards when, after picking up the best hip-hop artist award, he lost best video to a French duo named Justice vs. Simian. Outraged, he crashed the stage and interrupted their acceptance speech with a profanity-laced rant: “If I don’t win,” he said, “the award show loses credibility.”
Backstage Blowup at VMAs
September 9, 2007
Despite five nominations, West failed to win a single trophy in 2007, his second year going home empty-handed. His reaction? He threw a tantrum backstage. “Give a black man a chance,” he yelled. “That’s two years in a row!” He then declared that he would never come back to an MTV award show. The Insider got a copy of the video.
Paparazzi Scuffle at LAX
September 11, 2008
After an altercation with paparazzi at the Los Angeles International Airport, West and his manager were arrested for damaging a photographer’s camera. West was charged with misdemeanor vandalism, battery and grand theft. He pleaded not guilty in May.