Not content with selling millions of records, touring the world and having a legion of fans that worship the very ground they walk on, a surprisingly large number of musicians have also taken to dabbling in the dark world of conspiracy theories. From pontificating about government-controlled social media to decrying the existence of chemtrails on national TV, it seems that some of our favourite artists consider themselves to be “truthers”, intent on challenging everything and anything that we take for granted.
Here are just 13 famous faces who have put the “racy” into conspiracy theory in recent years.
The 22-year-old told Complex in 2013 that “we’d be stupid to believe that we were the only people here” when asked if she believed in aliens. Grande also revealed that she’d had “a ghost/demon experience” during a visit to a haunted house, claiming that demons followed her afterwards – at one point materialising in her bedroom as “massive black matter”. Spooky.
Equipped with a penchant for starting trouble, M.I.A. has had her fair share of controversial theories in the past. She told Nylon in 2010 that Google and Facebook “were developed by the CIA”, before claiming to The Guardian that a Tower Hamlets MP “flushed the area with loads of heroin to sedate and pacify the Bengalis” when she was 17.
The Megadeth frontman formed an unnerving alliance with conspiracist shock-jock Alex Jones in 2009, endorsing the US radio host’s belief in a “New World Order” – a totalitarian world government. And Mustaine’s great scheme to escape this tyrannical regime? Move to Canada, obviously.
Another musician not afraid to stir up trouble, the Public Enemy leader articulated in the band’s 1994 song ‘Race Against Time’ his belief that the World Heath Organisation is actually set on engaging in racially-motivated biological warfare. Not sure about that one, Chuck.
The Muse man seems to have a thing for conspiracy theories – in 2006, he told CMU that he agreed with the theory that 9/11 was “an inside job” perpetrated by the US Government as an excuse to invade the Middle East. Bellamy reneged on this belief in 2012, however, stating that he’d changed his tune – “although there are lots of questions to be answered,” he added.
Part-time philosopher Jaden has expounded on many an issue, and just over two years ago he was advocating that everyone should drop out of school. Why? Because “we would have a much more intelligent society,” he tweeted. “School is the tool to brainwash the youth.” Look, Jaden – we know you didn’t like maths class much, but it’s something we’ve all got to put up with, OK?
Often putting lefties in a strangehold with his deeply conservative and pro-gun views, Nugent is another celebrity endorser of DJ Alex Jones’ “New World Order”. The Michiganian rocker has also stated that he considers Obama to be a “dictator”, and was investigated by the Secret Service in 2012 after he said that he would either be “dead or in jail” if Obama was re-elected.
His untimely passing earlier this month provided a welcome reminder of the genius of his music, as well as the many stories that have since passed into Bowie legend. Between 1975-6, Bowie was said to have developed such a massive cocaine habit that he believed a conspiracy of witches wanted him to impregnate one during Walpurgis Night (Google it). Terrifying.
The Led Zeppelin man has apparently voiced skepticism at the 1969 moon landings: in Moondust, a book by journalist Andrew Smith about the 12 astronauts who have set foot on the moon, Plant is quoted as saying “I never really believed they went, to be honest with you.” Presumably Neil Armstrong was never much of a Led Zep fan neither.
Ah, The Corrs: very unthreatening musically, and no doubt a very personable set of musicians too. Well, how would you feel if we told you that Jim, second from the left here, unleashed a torrent of conspiracy beliefs (swine flu was man-made, 9/11 wasn’t all that it seemed, the American military caused the Haiti earthquake) on Irish TV in 2011? Bet you weren’t expecting that.
What do Prince, Matt Bellamy and Jaden Prince all have in common? Why, it’s a belief in chemtrails, of course! Yes, the idea that the trails from high-flying aircraft are actually chemical or biological agents designed to have some sort of sinister effect on the general public is something that The Purple One endorsed, disclosing his beliefs in a rare 2009 TV interview.
Kanye does have something of an outspoken nature, but he joins our list of conspiracy luminaries for remarks he made in 2005. Performing at the Philadelphia leg of the Live 8 tour, Yeezy shocked the crowd by declaring that AIDS was “a man-made disease placed in Africa, just like crack was placed in the black community to break up the Black Panthers.”
And the latest addition to our list of musical conspiracy theorists is the rapper B.O.B., who tried to convince his Twitter followers in January that the world is flat. “No matter how high in elevation you are, the horizon is always eye level” he tweeted, in an effort to debunk the idea that a curve of the earth exists. The jury is still very much out on his outrageous claim.