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2015 MTV VMAs: Watch Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj open the show

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Alex Abad-Santos is a senior correspondent who explains what society obsesses over, from Marvel and movies to fitness and skin care. He came to Vox in 2014. Prior to that, he worked at the Atlantic.

Leading up to the 2015 MTV VMAs, the biggest story was a spat between Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift. It started off as a Twitter misunderstanding and ended up tearing this great nation apart. It was a boon for the VMAs, which thrive much more on the spectacle of the unexpected.

Was there going to be blood spilled at the VMAs? Was there going to be another Kanye moment? Would there be a surprise performance?

The two had apparently sorted things out late last month, but in true MTV VMA fashion Swift surprised and stunned when she appeared on stage to sing during Minaj's opening performance.