What started off as Minaj's solo opening performance got a pop shock when Swift appeared onstage to join Minaj in singing "The Night Is Still Young." But the heat really turned up when the chorus from "Bad Blood" kicked in, acknowledging the turmoil. The pair ended with huge smiles on their faces and a friendly embrace.
The temporary tiff between Swift and Minaj started back on July 21, the day the VMA nominations were announced. While Swift's "Bad Blood" mini-action-movie earned a video of the year nod, Minaj's racy "Anaconda" clip was left out of the top category. "When the 'other' girls drop a video that breaks records and impacts culture they get that nomination," Minaj tweeted on nomination day, followed by, "If your video celebrates women with very slim bodies, you will be nominated for vid of the year."
Taylor Swift & Nicki Minaj's Twitter Argument: A Full Timeline
Swift didn't let that last tweet go, thinking that since the only other woman nominated in the VOTY category was the curvy Beyonce, Minaj must be referencing the supermodel-filled "Bad Blood."
Foreshadowing their eventual team-up, Swift's next tweet extended an offer to Minaj: "If I win, please come up with me!! You're invited to any stage I'm ever on." But it would be another day before Swift formally apologized to Minaj, on July 23, after also calling her to talk it out.
But it wasn't just the Swift show in the opening number. Minaj kicked off the show with "Trini Dem Girls" in full Festival gear, with red feathers sprouting from her headdress. She then started off "The Night Is Still Young" -- before the surprise heard 'round the Microsoft Theater took place.