50 Cent made a right numpty of himself a while back when he made crass comments about the Japanese tsunami via Twitter. “Wave will hit 8am them crazy white boys going to try to go surfing,” he wrote, before admitting he’d written it for “shock value”. Here are a few other ill-advised/dumb pop star outbursts…
Nicky Wire: “In this season of goodwill, let’s pray that Michael Stipe goes the same way as Freddie Mercury pretty soon.” Jaws dropped at a 1992 gig at London’s Kilburn National Ballroom. He later explained, “I don’t detest REM or Michael Stipe, I was just trying to put across the point that there are so many diseases in the world. Everything gets misconstrued when you’re on stage.”
Johnny Borrell, Razorlight: “Compared to the Razorlight album [Bob] Dylan is making the chips. I’m drinking champagne.” This was at the height of his ego. Oddly, a career frying chips is now a very real possibility.
Noel Gallagher: “I wish they would catch AIDS and die.” He takes the rivalry with Blur’s Damon Albarn and Alex James too far in a 1996 Observer interview. The Britpop wars didn’t get any uglier than this.
Geri Halliwell: “Thatcher was the first Spice Girl, the pioneer of our ideology.” The singer explains why she and the rest of the Spice Girls decommissioned so many Welsh coal mines in their ‘90s heyday.
Bono: “I could go onstage, unzip my pants, and hang my dick out, and people would think it was some statement or something.” He bemoans his fame in a US interview from 1989. We can all interpret the statement he’d be making.
Damon Albarn: “If Kurt Cobain had played football, he’d be alive today. I know it sounds like the most ridiculous thing, but if you play football, you’d know what that means.” He muses on ways the Nirvana singer could have stayed on the right track.
Lee Ryan, Blue: “This New York thing is being blown out of proportion… What about whales? They are ignoring animals that are more important. Animals need saving and that’s more important.” He talked about 9/11 in September 2001, to the horror of his bandmates. Ten years later, he’s representing us at Eurovision – let’s hope it passes without a major diplomatic incident.
Cyndi Lauper: “If you have intercourse you run the risk of dying and the ramifications of death are final.” So she doesn’t always wanna have fun.
Cher: “I’ve been up and down so many times that I feel as if I’m in a revolving door.” She tries and fails to locate the word ‘lift’.
Celine Dion: “My child was not only carried by me, but by the universe.” So what was the umbilical cord attached to, Celine?
Bob Dylan: “I hate to see chicks perform. Hate it… Because they whore themselves. Especially the ones that don’t wear anything. They fucking whore themselves.” He let rip on female singers in a 1987 Rolling Stone interview. Presumably, this viewpoint led to some interesting dinnertime discussions with his ‘60s paramour, singer Joan Baez.
Bryan Ferry: “The Nazis knew how to put themselves in the limelight and present themselves. Leni Riefenstahl’s movies and Albert Speer’s buildings and the mass parades and the flags – just amazing. Really beautiful.” So said the Roxy Music man in an interview with German newspaper Welt am Sonntag. He later apologised.
Brian Harvey, East 17: “If it makes you feel better, and gives you something to do at the weekend, and you go out and have a good time, I don’t see why not, because life’s too short.” He extols the virtues of ecstasy during a 1997 radio interview in which he boasted he’d taken 12 pills in one night. The singer was swiftly ejected from the London-based boyband.