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'It Was Rude,' Kanye West Tells Jay Leno

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MSNBC: Kanye West used Jay Leno's prime-time debut Monday to offer another apology for ruining Taylor Swift's night at the MTV Video Music Awards and to say he's going to take some time off for reflection.

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West said he knew he was wrong the moment he handed the microphone back to Swift, when he was bathed in boos. He had interrupted Swift on Sunday night as she accepted a best female video award for "You Belong With Me," arguing that Beyonce's "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" was more deserving.

"It was rude, period," West said. He posted a second apology to Swift on his blog on Monday, and told Leno he wanted to apologize to the country music star in person.

West took a long pause when Leno asked what his mother would have said about the incident. West was very close to his mother, Donda, who died in November 2007. He said yes when Leno asked whether his mother would have given him a lecture.

"So many celebrities, they never take the time off," he said. "I've never taken the time off to really -- you know, just music after music and tour after tour. I'm just ashamed that my hurt caused someone else's hurt. My dream of what awards shows are supposed to be, 'cause, and I don't try to justify it because I was just in the wrong. That's period. But I need to, after this, take some time off and just analyze how I'm going to make it through the rest of this life, how I'm going to improve."

He had already been set to perform on Leno's first prime-time show on NBC, but asked for time to talk with the controversy swirling. It may have been a stroke of luck for Leno, whose daily prime-time comedy show already was the most buzzed-about fall debut. With West, it's likely to draw even more curious viewers.

It was reminiscent of when Hugh Grant appeared on the "Tonight" show with Leno in 1995 to make amends after being arrested with a prostitute -- only this time there weren't many laughs. The Grant appearance was a springboard for Leno to eclipse David Letterman in the ratings.

Leno was quick to reference the West incident with one of his first monologue jokes Monday, saying President Barack Obama had invited West and the 19-year-old Swift for a "root beer summit."

West has gotten in trouble before with ill-timed comments, raising scenes after losing awards himself at the VMAs, the Grammys and the American Music Awards. In 2005, West said during a telethon after Hurricane Katrina that President George W. Bush "doesn't care about black people."

Ratings up, but some fans condemn rapper MTV wasn't complaining on Monday. Televised on MTV, MTV2 and VH1 simultaneously on Sunday, the awards show was seen by 11 million people, according to Nielsen Media Research. That's up 21 percent over last year and was the most-watched Video Music Awards since 2002.

A corporate partner of MTV jumped to take advantage of it. Comedy Central, like MTV owned by Viacom Inc., planned to rerun four times in a row on Tuesday a "South Park" episode that poked fun at West's ego.

West spoke on Leno's show before performing with Jay-Z and Rihanna on Jay-Z's song "Run This Town."

Some of West's fans who were waiting to see the performance on Leno's show condemned the rapper.

"I thought that was very disrespectful," said Oscar Velasquez, 21, of Valley Village, Calif. "He's a great musician, but as a person, he's not a role model or anything. And I think that not only are his fans disappointed but his mom would be disappointed. I don't think she raised him like that, to be like that. I think he needs to remember that."

Read more hot stories Moms Are Talking About.


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4 comments so far | Post a comment now
Nell September 15, 2009, 7:15 AM

This is sad for Taylor and Kanye. Kanye is obviously still in a lot of pain. He needs to be on some type of medication and counseling.

Rachelle September 15, 2009, 7:33 AM

I believe that he is sorry. But it’s too little, too late. Hopefully he will do what he says, and take some time off. I agree he should seek some kind of counseling as well.

Emma September 15, 2009, 9:03 AM

I understand he”s sorry but how many more times is it going to take for him to stop doing this? He was drinking quite heavely that night according to witnesses maybe he has an alcohol problem? just a thought

Lou September 15, 2009, 10:18 AM

Kanye, yes I think you need to take some time off from the buz. And try to remmeber who you really are. money isn’t everything.Micheal had all the money he would have need in life, but it didn’t buy him what he wanted must of all. A REAL CHILDHOOD, HAPPNESS. I think your mother would be very upset with you because you wan’t rasie that way


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