LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Rap star Kanye West personally apologized on Tuesday to country teen star Taylor Swift after a two-day furor over his hijacking of an awards speech that even drew an off-the-cuff comment from President Barack Obama.
Swift, 19, said she had accepted West’s apology in a private telephone call made after she appeared on the ABC TV talk show “The View.”
“He was very sincere in his apology and I accepted that apology,” Swift told ABC News Radio after receiving the call.
But Swift, the biggest-selling artist of 2008 in the United States with more than 4 million albums, said West’s actions had shaken her up.
“I‘m not going to say I wasn’t rattled by it,” Taylor said on “The View.” “I had to perform live five minutes later so I had to get myself back to the place where I could perform.”
West had expressed regret twice on the Web and in a TV appearance on “The Jay Leno Show” for taking the microphone from Swift at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday, and saying that R&B star Beyonce should have won Swift’s trophy.
His outburst drew boos from the crowd and celebrities and music fans voiced their displeasure with West, a Grammy winner whose hits include “Stronger” and “Heartless.” A handful of radio stations in California and Florida said they would stop playing West’s music in protest.
Even Obama entered the fray, calling West a “jackass” in an off-the-record portion of a political interview on TV given by the president gave this week. The remark was widely circulated by an ABC journalist who posted it on the social networking website Twitter. ABC swiftly apologized.
Sunday’s outburst is not the first time West has made headlines for his behavior. In 2005, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation of New Orleans, West said then President George W. Bush did not care about blacks.
Earlier this year, West was charged with battery, theft and vandalism over a 2008 scuffle with paparazzi in Los Angeles.
On “The Jay Leno Show” on Monday, West told Leno he needed to take “time off” to analyze and improve his life.
Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Jill Serjeant