When singers perform in front of a stadium of screaming fans, it's a surge of adrenaline. However, the "high" of performing has its downfalls, and when fans get rude, handsy, or just straight-up annoying, celebs have no choice but to lash out.
Sure, people paid good money for those tickets, but that doesn't mean artists should have to subject themselves to abuse or humiliation from rowdy audience members intent on spoiling the fun for everyone. That said, not all these interruptions by artists are equally understandable. (We're looking at you, Kanye).
From storming off stage to trying to fight fans in the pit, here are all the moments — warranted or not — where singers stopped the show to address their audience.
1. Kanye West
Rapper Kanye West's onstage meltdowns are numerous and, at this point, aren't even all that surprising anymore. However, back in 2014, he took things a little too far when he yelled at his fans for not standing up during his performance — including two fans who were sitting in wheelchairs. According to fans who tweeted about the incident, Kanye stopped the music and ordered everyone to get on their feet and start dancing. However, when he noticed two people were still seated, he stopped the music again to berate them.
"This is the longest I’ve had to wait to do a song, it’s unbelievable," he said. When the audience shouted at him that the two people seated were in wheelchairs, he sent a security guard into the audience to confirm. "He is in a wheelchair?" Kanye said. "OK, you fine!”
2. Bebe Rexha
Earlier this year, pop singer Bebe Rexha didn't like the lukewarm response to a performance of her hit song “Meant to Be." Frustrated, she stopped the music to address the crowd.
“This song was No. 1 for 50 f---ing weeks,” the 29-year-old yelled, according to the Associated Press. “I work too f---ing hard for this s--t, OK?"
Her tirade continued, "I worked too hard for this moment. I’m from Staten Island, New York, and I’m standing on this stage right here. You’re going to sing the f---ing words if you know the f---ing song."
She then restarted the song to a much livelier crowd.
3. Justin Bieber
If you find Justin Bieber's screeching 13-year-old fans annoying, apparently so does Justin. He's lashed out at his fans several times at his concerts, sometimes even storming off the stage and never returning.
One such occurrence happened back in 2015 while performing in Norway. The 24-year-old got angry when some fans spilled water on the stage. "Yo, what are you doing? Stop it!" he said to some fans when they tried to steal the rag he was using to dry the stage. "What are you doing? Guys, yo, listen to me! Are you listening? I'm trying to wipe the floor. Give me a second, yo."
When a fan reached toward the rag again, he gave up. "Guys, never mind, I'm done. I'm not doing the show," he said as he walked off in a huff — and that wouldn't be the last time. A year later he yelled at fans in Atlantic City when they wouldn't stop throwing him gifts. "If we could take this moment to listen, and try not to give me a hat or whatever you're trying to throw on stage right now, because I probably don't want that s--t," he told the crowd.
4. Travis Scott
If you ever come to a Travis Scott show, make sure not to be on your phone. The rapper got irate back in 2017 when he noticed people sitting in the V.I.P. section were texting instead of bobbing their heads to "Goosebumps."
“All you n---as that’s behind the gate that’s on y’all phones, y’all n---as can take your ass home, or y’all can come back and watch the show," he yelled.
The moment was almost as funny as the time he cussed out fans while in autotune.
5. Jefree Star
The YouTube star got heated when an overexcited fan touched his crotch while he was performing at a show. "If anyone ever touches my crotch again, I will beat your motherf---in' a-- outside, b---h," he told the crowd as the fan got dragged out by security. "I do not need to be disrespected.... If anyone ever disrespects any of you guys, beat the s--t out of them!" The crowd roared with applause.
Madonna wasn't happy when fans wouldn't stop smoking during her concert in Chile. When too much secondhand smoke wafted across the stage, the 60-year-old pop star flipped. "If you're gonna smoke cigarettes, I'm not doing a show," she told them after stopping a song. "I'm not kidding. I can't sing if you smoke. Entiendes? If you love me then don't smoke. No smoking! You're looking right at me while you're smoking cigarettes, like I'm a stupid f---ing idiot."
The fans eventually got the hint and put out their cigarettes.
7. Smash Mouth
Remember them? Back in 2015 while playing at a food festival in Colorado, the "All Star" band got in a scrap with fans. It all started when lead singer Steve Harwell got pelted with a slice of bread while onstage. The crowd had been served free bread samples before the show, which turned out to be a bad idea. As more bread hurled onto the stage, Steve lost it.
"You throw one more piece of s--t on the f--king stage, I'm gonna find your a--, I'm gonna beat your a--, whoever the f--k you are out there," he yelled. "You wanna be a bada--? Come on up here. Walk your bada-- up here... Whoever is throwing s--t at me, I will tell you right now, I will beat the f--k out of you. You're a pu--y punk b---h. You're ruining the show for crowds of people right now. Because I'm gonna walk off stage and, guess what? You're paying for it, f--ker."
While fans booed him, Steve tried climbing down into the crowd to fight the fan himself. However, after being stopped by security, he settled on simply calling everyone "a bunch of p---y b---hes" before finally mumbling the lyrics to "All Star."
8. Courtney Love
Back in 1995, Courtney Love went on an epic rant when a rude fan wouldn't stop throwing water on her. "OK, good night, that's it," she said after finishing a song. "You throw s--t at me, you don't get a f--king show. Take your Bon Jovi shirt and go f--k yourself with Eddie Vedder's dildo, all right?"
Oh, but she wasn't done. After briefly leaving the stage, she returned to continue her tirade, insulting all of Amsterdam in the process. "Is little Miss Dutch B---h mad cause I f---ed Trent [Reznor]? Is she mad that I f---ed Brad Pitt? Is she mad that I f---ed Evan [Dando]? Is she mad that I married Kurt [Cobain]? Well tough s--t, you ugly fat goth! [...] That's f---ing it! I paid, you paid. I fulfilled my contract, go f--k yourself! Kurt hated this town, I hate this town, you're on way too much hash, go f--k yourself! [...] Go see Nine Inch Nails next time, they're much more your kinda crowd. Maybe they'll please you a lot, you little goth s--theads."
In addition to throwing water, there were rumors that the fan also shouted, "You killed Kurt!", which might put Courtney's over-the-top reaction into perspective.
9. Marilyn Manson
Fans were demanding a refund when Marilyn Manson performed a bizarre show in 2015 where he mostly babbled and berated fans for not loving him enough. "Manson came out with a bang but the whole thing deteriorated very quickly,” an Instagram user wrote in a recap of the show. “Once it got to be 10 minutes of begging for adoration and no music, I think we all started to realize something was wrong. Once he was temporarily satisfied, it didn’t improve. They would start songs only to screech them to a halt a minute in. There were very drawn out versions of songs where Manson mostly rambled on about our lack of love and other bizarre things. After an hour and fifteen minutes of this, he threw his microphone and left the stage."
Although the incident made headlines, no explanation for his behavior was given.
10. Elton John
Elton John doesn't seem like someone who would lose his cool, but during a Vegas concert last year, he got heated when a fan got too handsy during a performance. After inviting a bunch of fans to gather around him while he played the piano, one obnoxious fan wouldn't stop touching him and trying to give him a high-five. Frustrated, Elton stormed off the stage. When he returned he sternly told the audience, "No more coming on stage on Saturday night. You f---ed it up!"
11. Ryan Adams
Ryan Adams actually had a good reason to go off on fans back in 2014. Ryan, who has Ménière’s Disease, wasn't happy when fans kept flashing him with cameras. "If somebody flashes lights in front of my eyes, LED or otherwise, while I’m onstage and starts a pattern of lights in front of me for long enough, I’m going to have a Ménière’s attack, I’m going to have an episode," he told the crowd after abruptly stopping a song. "Hi, my name is Ryan and I have Ménière’s Disease. If you flash me with your camera, it feels like you took a light saber and you sliced my brain in half.” Noted.
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