They’re Bad They’re Nationwide: Big headlines that nearly ruined rock stars careers

  1. The Beatles Have a God Complex

For John Lennon, he would always be the most outspoken of the fab four. Creating controversy and sharing his political views with the press whenever he felt it was necessary to do so. One such famous incident involved him telling the press that he felt the Beatles popularity made them “more popular than Jesus.’ Talk about having a God Complex.

As a result of this claim, the Christian community went into a meltdown. Radio stations in the Bible Belt section of the United States stopped playing their music. Christians bought their records in droves, only to burn them and even the Ku Klux Klan protested one of their shows. John Lennon sure did love to be the one to push the buttons with his press conferences.


  1. Pam and Tommy get Intimate

You have all seen the show, some of you may have lived through the events as they happened in real time. For Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson, their lives were turned upside down when their private lives were made public for the whole world to see.

Part home video, part intimate look into the raunchy lives of celebrities, Pam and Tommy’s tape spread like wildfire in 1998 after a disgruntled employee of Tommy Lee’s leaked it onto the internet. The media accused them of leaking it for publicity, a claim both Lee and Anderson denied. They would wind up suing the company that put the tape on the internet. As a result of it leaking, Pam and Tommy’s marriage could not sustain the pressure and stress brought on by the tape and ultimately divorce nearly three years later.




  1. Milli Vanilli Fake it Until They Make It

Long before Ashlee Simpson made headlines for her performance on SNL, there was Milli Vanilli. The duo was comprised of Rob Pilatus and Fab Morvan. Their debut album heralded at least five top hits on the top ten charts. However, Rob and fab weren’t the ones who performed on those tracks.

As a result of the revelation, the duo’s Grammy award was taken back, and several lawsuits were filed. The group tried to reunite and record music properly with the original duo on vocals, however, Rob Pilatus died in April of 1998 and the album never saw the light of day.



  1. Marvin Gaye’s Father Brought Him Into The World….

In one of the most shocking moments in Rock and Roll History, Marvin Gaye was killed by his own father in Las Angeles in 1984. Gaye was involved in a physical altercation between him and his father one day before Gaye’s 45th birthday. The result was that his father shot in Marvin Gaye a fit of rage.

The music world reacted to Marvin Gayes death with a variety of tribute albums. Duran Duran, Public Enemy, Diana Ross, and the Temptations all released a cover song in Marvin Gaye’s honor. In 2018, the United States Postal service released a stamp featuring Marvin Gaye on it.





  1. Michael Jackson Wants To Be Starting Something

Long before the allegations came out against Michael Jackson, there was Jackson’s weird form of corporal punishment. This consisted of dangling his youngest son Prince out of a fifth story hotel balcony in Berlin. Jackson claimed that he was trying to connect with his fans who were waiting outside the hotel. He wrapped only one arm around the baby while he greeted the crowd.

While the scandal was relatively minimal in the media, it managed to drive away some of his loyal fans. This was only the start of Michaels headlines when it came to dealing with children over the next few years.






  1. Madonna’s Like a Prayer Does Not Go Over Like One

Much like with the Beatles and John Lennon’s claims about the group, Madonna had also managed to anger the Christian community. Madonna’s song is about a woman having an affair with God, which obviously didn’t sit well with much of America. The music video was even more controversial as it features an unlawful arrest of a black man who was framed for a crime committed by a white mob.

The song and music were loved by critics but hated by conservatives across the United States. The Vatican told fans to boycott Pepsi after they used the song in one of their commercials. However, despite some backlash, the song became a number one hit and only further cemented Madonna’s status on the pop charts.


  1. Meanwhile Rick James…

For Rick James, the success of his career gave way into a decline and a pair of shocking choices. The first choice involved Rick James and his very committed girlfriend kidnapping and tortured a 24-year-old hostage over the course of six days. Though for James, he attempted to kidnap again, almost as soon as he was released from jail for the first attempt. This time he held a music executive hostage for 20 hours. These kidnappings were fueled by James’s usage of cocaine.Rick James is more widely known now for these kidnappings than the string of hits he released in the 80’





  1. George Michael’s Freedom!

For George Michael, he was known predominantly as a ladies’ man. For Having been a big star in the 1980’s with Wham! He a large following of eager female fans who wanted to be with the singer. However, an undercover cop caught him with another man in the 90s. The music and entertainment world at the time were shocked by this revelation.

As a result of the discovery, George Michael went public about his sexuality. The magazines and news shows were obsessed with the revelation.









  1. Phil Spector, Lady Killer

One of the most prominent producers of the 1960s, known for his “Wall of Sound” producing style was found guilty of killing actress Lana Clarkson. She was found in his home in 2003 and Spector was convicted of second-degree murder in 2009.

Phil Spector had a dark side to him in his personal life. He was known for being angry, volatile and at times violent. The media acted with surprise, though those that knew Phil Spector thought that Lana’s death could have been avoided.



  1. Ashlee Simpson Brings Lip Syncing to the Mainstream

For Ashlee Simpson, she always grew up in the shadow of her younger sister Jessica. The youngest Simpsons sister finally got her break when she would perform on Saturday Night Live. “Perform” is a term used loosely here as what she did was anything but put on a live show. During her concert she played through the first track without a problem. The second song began, however, a vocal recording of the first track began to play over the band. She apologized to the audience during the closing segment.


The moment was damaging in the media and featured on late night talk shows at the time. It was however, a was a defining moment in her otherwise nonexistent career as a performer.


Musicians Turned Actors

With the upcoming Foo Fighters movie Studio 666 coming out this week, the Popradio77 blog is going to look back at a list of musicians turned actors. This list will include what films they starred in and how successful each of them are in acting in comparison to their careers in music.


#1 Sting

Before the role will get recast in the long-awaited sequel, Gordon Sumner was cast as Feyd Rautha Harkonnen in Dune. Despite selling millions of records both solo and with the Police, Sting made a name for himself in film. He also appeared in The Who’s Quadrophenia movie as the King of the Mods. Since then, Sting has stuck to the world of songwriting as many of his other films he appeared in fell by the wayside.


#2 David Bowie

One of the more prolific filmographies of any musician, Bowie managed to star in several successful film and TV roles. His most notable role on film is Labyrinth, starring opposite of Jennifer Connelly. He has since then appeared in animated features such as Arthur and the Invisibles and SpongeBob SquarePants. Other notable appearances include his roles in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, and a cameo appearance in Zoolander. Despite an impressive resume, Labyrinth is what David Bowie is remembered for in comparison to his other cinematic works.


#3 Rick Springfield

Rick Springfield as Dr. Noah Drake

Already blessed with great songs, Springfield made each of his TV and film appearances as memorable as the timeless hits he crafted. For Rick Springfield his fame as an actor came about when he starred as Dr. Noah Drake. A role he took because he thought no one would buy the Working-Class Dog album. Springfield however was proven wrong when Jessie’s Girl became a hit. He played the role of Noah Drake for 2 years while subsequently touring behind the record he had one point written off. He also starred as a twisted version of himself in the David Duchovney series Californication. He even had a recurring role on True Detective in which he played a psychiatrist during season 2. Each of Rick Springfield’s roles received recognition for his acting abilities, making Rick Springfield one of the more talented rock stars turned actors.


#4 Madonna

Madonna in A League of Their Own

Despite being in over 27 movies and having married both actors and directors, Madonna’s film career never got the praise or recognition she wanted. Madonna starred in high profile films such as Dick Tracy and A League of Their Own in which she received critical praise. However, for her roles in Body of Evidence, her performance was critically panned, and the film was a box office flop. Other reviews have cited Madonna’s acting abilities as “wooden” or that she comes off as “trying to hard”. She may have more volume in terms of movies made, though her success in film is few and in between.



#5 Ice Cube

While not an artist at the station, Ice Cube is a prolific musician turned actor. Having appeared in the influential rap group N.W.A., Ice Cube tried his luck at acting following the groups breakup. Appearing in hits such as Friday,Anaconda, Barbershop, and 21 Jump Street. Ice Cubes films have been both box office success’s and critically praised. Compared to his musical output, Ice Cube works better as an actor than as a solo artist.



#6 Flea

Flea as Douglas Needles

For bassist Flea of the 90’s supergroup The Red Hot Chili Peppers, he has appeared on some of the most successful films of all time. Call it luck or just having a good agent, the Chilis bass player has appeared in several high-profile films. For Flea, he is known as Douglas J Needles, Marty Mcfly’s rival in the Back to the Future film series. He appeared in The Big Lebowski as one of the Nihilists that harassed The Dude throughout the film. Recently he appeared in Baby Driver as Eddie No- Nose. On the animated side of things, he had a recurring role on the Nickelodeon series The Wild Thornberry’s. Critically, every film Flea has been in has been a box office success and The Wild Thornberry’s went on for 6 seasons and it has had two spin-off movies. This makes Flea the second most successful actor turned musician on this list.


#7 Meat Loaf

The Bat Out of Hell singer is also a prolific actor in his own right. He first appeared onscreen as an actor in the Rocky Horror Picture Show in 1975, giving the world the song “Hot Patooti”. His most notable work includes his role as Robert Paulson from Fight Club. While his filmography may not compare to the likes of the other stars on this list, Meat Loaf always makes his roles stand out.


#8 Elvis Presley

The musician turned actor had string of successful films in the 1950’s and 60’s. For the King the films he starred in initially focused on incorporating his music and aspects of Elvis’s larger than life persona into his movies. Gradually Elvis fell into a groove starred in more mature films. This process involved phasing out his music and letting Elvis play a character rather than just a version of himself. Elvis’s movies largely did will from a critical and box office standpoint making him a star onscreen and off.


Honorable mentions

#9 Ozzy Osbourne



Does it count if the actor plays himself? Well, for Ozzy Osbourne the exception is made as each of his cameos across multiple movies have been nothing short of memorable. Most notably he appeared in Adam Sandler’s Little Nicky in which he appeared at the last second to save the day. Of course, who can forget his appearance in Austin Powers. The Blizzard always gets straight to the point with his cameos.


#10 Keith Richards

Keith Richards, the inspiration for Captain Jack Sparrow.

The real-life basis for Captain Jack Sparrow. Keith Richards was brought on to the Pirates franchise in the third film as Sparrow’s father. Richards would go on to play Sparrows father in 3 other subsequent Pirates sequels offering sage advice to Jack prior to the start of his adventures.

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