The stories that shocked, scared and, quite frankly, left us feeling very confused in 2015
You’ll have done well in 2015 to avoid much of the news; so often filled with horror, despair and misery. But the news reporters of the world haven’t always had the most depressing job in the world: there have been some weird and wonderful moments in the world of music and entertainment, from popstars publicly licking donuts to comical DNA tests, here’s a round-up of the weirdest news stories from the past 12 months.
Boyband member wears too many clothes on flight, collapses
These young rapscallions ended up in the news back in July after one of their rank collapsed from heat exhaustion during a flight. James McElvar, member of the boyband Rewind, donned 12 layers of his own clothing in an attempt to avoid a £45 bagging charge.
3-year-old wins South Africa’s Got Talent
Go DJ! The pint-sized fella behind the decks here is DJ Arch Jr. (Oratilwe Hlongwanen to his nursery teacher), who effortlessly span his way to victory in this year’s South Africa’s Got Talent competition back in November. A more worthy winner than an obedient dog, right?
Pope drops rock album
At the tail-end of November, Pope Francis dropped a FIRE mixtape (OK, prog-rock album) that featured his words and prayers. Entitled ‘Wake Up!’, it unfortunately wasn’t named after the Pope’s fondness for Rage Against The Machine.
Sigur Ros produce talking dog movie
The Icelandic band’s drummer and bassist, Orri Dyrason and Georg Holm, revealed that they’d produced a talking dog Christmas movie, last year’s The Three Dogateers Save Christmas, after they fell in love with the script during a trip to Hollywood. And yes, there’s a sequel in the works – Jurassic Bark.
Ariana Grande licks all the donuts
This was sublime in its strangeness: pop sensation Grande was forced to apologise – not once, but twice – for being caught on CCTV licking several items in a Californian donut store. The owners of the shop didn’t press any charges, and the singer grovelled in two online apologies to her fans.
Lil’ Bub releases album
The internet’s favourite feline Lil’ Bub released an album in early December. Entitled ‘Science & Magic’, the bug-eyed cat called on all-round partying type Andrew WK to write a press release: “The songs are the soundtrack to BUB’s universal adventure, and a soundtrack to the universe itself.”
North West shouts “No pictures!” at paps
Paparazzi culture reached a whole new level of awfulness when North West, the daughter of KimYe, was filmed saying “I said no pictures!” as she walked with her minder through a car park. The fact that a two-year-old infant is already that familiar with the baggage that comes with being a Kardashian is a terrifying thing indeed.
Tom Jones takes DNA test
The Welshman claimed that he would take a DNA test in an attempt to end confusion over his race. The ex-Voice judge told The Times Magazine that his race has always been questioned due to his skin tone and curly hair. “I’m going to get my DNA tested. I want to find out.”
Lenny Kravitz tests out unopened hotel room
The singer was staying free of charge in a room at the Edition Hotel in NYC (worth $8,000 [£5,100] a night) back in May, before the hotel had even officially opened. He even ordered room service, despite the fact that the restaurant had yet to open. Ah, to be that rich and frivolous.
Demi Lovato mugs herself off
This was strange: asked what her favourite dish was, Demi answered “I like mugs because they’re hold hot things that you don’t have to touch… so, you know, coffee, hot tea.” Some people failed to see she was joking, prompting her to respond: “I was homeschooled but I’m not that stupid.”
1D Dad ends up with more than he bargained for
This is the tale of a Tennessee dad who got an “I♥1D” tattoo to win his daughter VIP tickets to see the boy band. A local radio station called for dads to dress up like 1D members but, unbeknownst to him, he couldn’t enter the contest as he wasn’t a permanent resident of Indiana.
Bill Turnbull turns the airwaves blue
Children and their aghast parents were subjected to Bill Turnbull inexplicably managing to say “cunts” instead of “clients” back in July. Although the BBC Breakfast man and co-presenter Naga Munchetty pretended that nothing had happened, the clip was uploaded to YouTube and thus forever entombed in history.
Miley does Miley
Miley’s weirdest moment came during the surreal opening show of her ‘Milky Milky Milk’ tour, where the singer, ever the extrovert, wore a dildo-attached outfit. She also mimed suckling on her 6’7″ dancer’s breasts, and later took to a piano to sing about her dead fish whilst ripping out her fake dreadlocks.
Lemmy declares vodka to be better for you than whiskey
Well, that’s according to his doctor anyway: upon medical advice, the Motörhead man told The Guardian that he he now drinks vodka and orange in place of Jack Daniels and coke in a bid to combat his diabetes. “Coca-Cola can fuck off,” he said.
Public Enemy hitch a ride
Marooned in Sheffield prior to their gig supporting The Prodigy, Public Enemy were given an unlikely lift to the city’s Motorpoint Arena in a Ford Escort. Live music photographer Kevin Wells volunteered to transport the band to the gig, and, in the process, took one of the greatest selfies of all time.
Bieber nearly declares that he’s bigger than Jesus
Biebsdeclared in a September interview with Complex that he wants to “live like Jesus” but “not be Jesus”. He then added, “you don’t need to go to church to be a Christian. If you go to Taco Bell, that doesn’t make you a taco.” Sage stuff.
NOFX bully front-row hipster
The punk band were playing a gig in Nova Scotia when they spotted someone who they deemed to be a “hipster”. “I will pay you $100 to leave this show,” said Fat Mike. “Are you gonna bother me all day with your fucking tie-dye shirt and your beard?”
Paloma Faith lands lovers in hot water
Back in June a court heard how a Welsh woman, accused of performing a sex act on her boyfriend during Faith’s 2014 Hyde Park gig, told police that “the rules must be different in England”. A witness told the court he was so disgusted by the copulating couple that he filmed them.
Sandi Thom cries and swears online
The Scotswoman didn’t react well to hearing that BBC Radio 2 had rejected her new single from their playlist considerations. She proceeded to post a sweary, teary and probably snotty reaction video to YouTube,outlining her distaste for not just the station, but the music industry as a whole.
Katy Perry receives a loving embrace from a fan
Some artists hate stage invaders, but Katy Perry decided to buck the trend of fan-to-artist rejection It didn’t really go well: the girl she invited onstage was clearly very, very pissed, and attempted to make out with Perry’s neck in front of thousands of fans.
Miley calls the kettle black
Oh Miley: this time she had a bit of an irony fail. In an interview with Marie Claire, Cyrus declared that Taylor Swift’s video for ‘Bad Blood’ didn’t set “a good example” to her young fans. Granted, Miley was referring to the theme of revenge killing, but c’mon: kettle, pot, black.
DJ Khaled rides on a journey through success
This wasn’t weird, it was spectacular: Khaled’s Snapchat followers are regularly treated to a comprehensive insight into the producer/DJ’s lavish and opulent lifestyle. But the best moment came only last week when the DJ managed to get lost whilst on his jet-ski, where he Snapchatted the entire episode.
Fat Whites v Mac DeMarco
Seemingly picking a fight for the hell of it, London band Fat White Family decided to call out Canadian troubadour Mac DeMarco on Facebook, claiming that “Unless Mac immediately withdraws from music and the public eye, [we] will be on the first plane to Syria to join Isis. Peace be with you.”
Goggleboxers get kicked off The One Show
The concept of people-watching-TV show Gogglebox is weird enough on its own, but the moment in September where two of the show’s “stars” – posh couple Steph and Dom Parker – were removed from the green room of the BBC’s The One Show for drinking too many Pornstar Martinis was even weirder.
Evian Christ gets locked up
Kanye collaborator Evian Christ had a particularly messy Reading/Leeds Festival experience back in August – well, he only got as far as Leeds, because the festival decided to put him in a cage (well, holding pen) after appearing to be intoxicated and refusing to identify himself to security.
Snoop gets policeman in trouble
Why is Snoop wearing a pullover? Why is the state trooper looking so uneasy? But the context is even stranger: apparently Snoop instigated this image, which landed the trooper in hot water as his employers disapproved of him posing with someone “who has a well-known criminal background.”
Shovel summons the spirit of Kurt
This viral video came shovel-sized after a clip of someone slipping over on some ice went viral. Said fellow, having succumbed to the ice, let his shovel go whilst in mid-air, which, when it returned to the ice, emitted what sounded very much like the opening guitar part of Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’.
Dr. Tyler Seuss
When Tyler, the Creator wasn’t being banned from entering the UK by killjoy Theresa May, he could be as The Cat In The Hat on US late-night chat show Jimmy Kimmel Live!. It was a strange sketch that saw Tyler rapping parts of a Dr Seuss book, yet no-one involved seemed to find it funny.
Kano does his best Cantona impression
Don’t mess with Kano on the football pitch: the MC was banned for an eye-watering 26 matches back in June (and fined £150) after falling foul of the officials in the Essex Sunday Corinthian Football League, where he plays for Premier Division side EMWA FC. He must have emulated Eric Cantona’s kung-fu kick to get that kind of punishment.
Madge loves Maggie
Madonna’s had a bit of an up and down year (insert BRIT Award performance joke here), but she certainly caused a stir back in April when she unwisely posted a picture of Margaret Thatcher to her Instagram page, praising the former Prime Minister.
Kanye has a cheeky Nandos
Prior to his awe-inspiring performance at the BRIT Awards, Kanye rocked up to a Nandos. But, Kanye being Kanye, he couldn’t get through his Butterfly chicken and two sides without being noticed by his fellow diners – and so he decided to get up on a table so that everyone could take a picture of him.
Liam loves Blur, strangely
The other Gallagher brother raised a few eyebrows back when he prematurely declared Blur’s ‘Lonesome Street’ to be “song of the year.” Although the Blur/Oasis Cold War is long over, Liam has never embraced Damon Albarn and co. quite like his brother has – so to see the singer tweet this was, well, odd.
Alex James’ DJ set is a Blur
On the other side of the Britpop divide, Blur’s Alex James was involved in a very boorish clip that involved a drunken Jamie Oliver blaring out ‘Wonderwall’ at the pair’s Big Feastival. James’ decision to throw on ‘Wonderwall’ maybe isn’t that strange, but the result made for some rather bemusing viewing.
Waka Flocka Weather Forecast
The Atlanta rapper popped up on Columbia, South Carolina’s local news station WLTX 19 to deliver a hip-hop weather forecast back in November. “Doing my first forecast,” Waka began, hands in the pockets of his black ‘Local Trap Star’ hoodie. “Rain, rain go away – that’s what all the haters say.” A meteorological marvel.
Shia watches himself
And so to part one of the Shia LaBeouf show: he live-streamed all of his movies – from Holes to the entire Transformers franchise – in a theatre in New York for a public art project. This was an endeavour, by the way, that lasted for three straight days. Not strange at all.
Shia spits bars
Watch out Kendrick – Shia was seen freestyling in a video. Some of the fire he spat included “Eatin’ any rapper like I’m eatin’ tuna casserole”, “Been doing this since Tupac was still doing music. Yessir, this Jewish kid still spew this sick shit though” and “Breaking down potatoes like I’m fucking Gallilao”.
Shia touches his soul
And the final part of the LeBeouf triumvirate came just last week with his latest art project, entitled ‘#TOUCHMYSOUL’. Hashtag. Taking place in Liverpool, the actor-cum-rapper-cum-whatever-it-is-he-wants-to-do-next sat at a computer with his two friends and invited internet users to call him up for a chat. Art is amazing.
Deerhunter throw a wobbly on stage
And our round-up of 2015’s weirdest news comes to an end with Deerhunter: the shoegaze-y four-piece put on a weird show back in October: plagued by sound difficulties, false starts, 30-minute jams, bringing a random fan up on stage to play keyboards, and frontman Bradford Cox handing out potted plants to the front row. Sounds like a right riot.