Minaj's video for her August 2014 single Anaconda, which spawned thousands of memes and parodies and broke viewing records, was nominated in the Best Hip Hop and Best Female categories, but missed out in the overall Best Video category.
Swift's video for Bad Blood, which featured cameos from her supermodel and pop star friends, went on to break viewing records set by Anaconda and was nominated by MTV in nine categories including Best Video.
Minaj tweeted her bafflement at not receiving the nomination for either Anaconda or her May 2015 video Feeling Myself, which featured Beyoncé, and highlighted the fact that the nominees all fit a certain body type: "If your video celebrates women with very slim bodies, you will be nominated for vid of the year."
Swift inferred this as a veiled insult and tweeted the rapper. While Minaj suggested that Swift "should speak on this", meaning the lack of representation of black musicians in mainstream media, Swift invited Minaj on stage if she won, and then unfollowed her.
The fallout dented Swift's image as a feminist in the pop industry and one who recently successfully campaigned to ensure Apple's new Music platform played artists during its three-month free trial period.
However, cultural commentators and fans made it clear that she made a misstep in her engagement with Minaj, not least for failing to address Minaj's concerns about racism.
Swift apologised today after hours of silence, with Minaj appearing to accept the apology.