Why Machine Gun Kelly and Travis Barker Ran off Stage Moments Before VMAs 2021 Performance

Machine Gun Kelly and Travis Barker took the stage at the 2021 MTV Video Music Awards Sunday night for a performance of their song "Papercuts," though their performance wasn't without a few hiccups. Although the duo wowed the audience with the performance of the song from Kelly's latest album, Tickets To My Downfall, some behind-the-scenes drama apparently led Kelly and Barker to run off the stage just moments before their scheduled performance.

The drama reportedly went down when the cameras weren't watching. A source told the celebrity gossip account [deuxmoi] that "MGK and Travis were set to perform and then they ran off stage." The tipster added that "they were getting ready to perform and then all of a sudden they got up and ran off and went backstage" and "they took the set down." A source who spoke to Us Weekly confirmed that the drum set had been there for "about 10 minutes" before it was cleared. That source also offered a little intel on what went down.

"Machine Gun Kelly buried himself in a grave as they were setting up to perform. He then burst out of the dirt in his grave, ran off stage and said something to Travis," the eyewitness said. "He was throwing elbows and seemed very upset before running backstage. The crew came and rolled off MGK's grave and Travis' huge drum off the stage."

Although Kelly returned to girlfriend Megan Fox's side in the audience, he ultimately rejoined Barker on stage for the performance later in the broadcast. The duo sang "Papercuts" after the award for Video of the Year was handed out. The song is from Kelly's new album Tickets To My Downfall, recently certified platinum, marking the musician's first album to achieve that status. At this time, Kelly and Barker have not publicly addressed the drama surrounding their performance.

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The "Papercuts" drama wasn't the only drama Kelly found himself swept up in at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. As he hit the red carpet ahead of the show, he nearly got caught up fighting UFC star Connor McGregor. Photographs captured the moment McGregor reached over a group of people to get at Kelly, with another image appearing to show a security staffer pushing back McGregor. A source told Page Six McGregor and Kelly "got into a fight at the top of the carpet" and needed to be "pulled apart." According to a separate source who spoke to TMZ, the incident was prompted after McGregor wanted a photo with Kelly, but the singer declined. Kelly reportedly pushed McGregor, who then tripped backward and spilled his drink.