Musicians – they’re human too, you know. And just like the rest of us, they too are afraid of things. Some fears, though, are stranger than others…
P Diddy – clowns: If you’ve ever seen coulrophobia-inducing (that’s fear of clowns to you and me) IT, or worse, endured the gore-fest that is Rob Zombie’s House of 10,000 Corpses, then you may have some sympathy for Diddy, who was scheduled to appear on US TV show Fear Factor in 2002. He reportedly pulled out when the show refused to agree to a “no clowns clause” in his contract.
Adele – seagulls: In a decidedly Hitchcockian moment, megastar Adele was once left fearing for her life – ok, maybe just her ice cream – when a seagull swooped down and violently ripped a 99 Flake from her hands. “I thought it was going to take me away with it,” she told the Metro. She claims to have been petrified of the pesky seabirds ever since.
Sheryl Crow – acrophobia: When Sheryl Crow sung the lyrics “everybody gets high, everybody gets low'” on ‘Every Day is a Winding Road’, chances are she wasn’t talking about the startling terror that consumes her whenever she’s near a ladder or mountain-tops – a pathological condition called acrophobia.
Michael Jackson – bacteria and dogs: You will no doubt be aware of Michael Jackson’s mysophobia – aka fear of bacteria – what with that mask he used to wear all the time. But did you know that on top of his phobia of all things dirt, grime and germy, he was also scared of dogs? He did eventually overcome the latter, albeit with the help of socialite Gotham Chopra.
Britney Spears – snakes: For her 2001 VMAs performance, Brit rolled up on stage with a bright yellow snake called Banana. But her envious abs or skilled dance moves weren’t the most impressive part of that show – it was the fact that she braved a morbid fear of snakes to do it. “Nobody realised that that was such a source of absolute fright for her,” her assistant told reporters afterwards.
Kanye West – spiders: For all his status as a messianic superstar, you should be both relieved and surprised to hear that Kanye is just like you and me underneath it all. According to US tabloid reports, Ye suffers from that most common of all fears – arachnophobia and apparently gets so freaked, it’s up to Kim to step in and save the day.
Madonna – thunder: Madonna is no stranger to causing a storm or two but the Material Girl has to run for cover whenever actual real-life thunder strikes. To give it its scientific name, she suffers from brontophobia and it’s very very frightening apparently. So frightening in fact, that she has been known to request regular weather reports before tours and shows.
Rihanna – fish: Growing up on a Caribbean island must be pretty fucking great – unless, of course, you’re terrified of fish like Rihanna, who told US music mag Blender back in 2008 that she was “super-scared” of sea creatures. “One time I was in the water, I saw all these tiny fish swimming around my feet, and I had a panic attack. I just froze. This man had to lift me out…”
Eminem – giraffes and owls: “I have a weird thing with giraffes, man… I don’t like their necks…” Slim Shady once explained to a film crew, professing to be creeped out by the animal kingdom favourites. He also claims to have a “serious fear of owls”. So there you have it.
Kylie Minogue – coathangers: Most of us will admit an aversion to hanging up our clothes, but have you ever been paralysed by fear at the mere thought of doing so? Apparently Kylie has. “The problem is I hate putting things on hangers. I have a hanger phobia – I don’t like the way they sound when you put them in the wardrobe.” OK.
Jessica Simpson – slippery teeth: She may be famed for her Hollywood smile but Simpson told Ellen back in 2010 that she only brushes her teeth three times a week. The reason? “My teeth are so white and I don’t like them to feel slippery… I do use Listerine and I do floss, I just don’t brush them everyday. I’ll use a shirt or something.”
Harry Styles – the dark and dentists: Would you believe it – 1D pop pin-up Harry Styles is worth nearly £20m yet still has to sleep with the light on. He made this lily-livered confession on Twitter a while ago, to both the horror and delight of droves of Directioners. He’s also confessed to a fear of the dentist’s chair. Now that’s a phobia we can actually get behind.