We all know how to spot them: the colossal egos, the public outbursts, the outfits no mother would approve of. These are the defining characteristics of the artists we love to hate. All that’s required to join this exclusive club is a healthy sense of self-worth and a willingness to make terrible choices that millions of people will scrutinize.
Here is a list of today’s top ten members:
This band of Canadian bros took everything we loved about Nirvana, jacked it up on monster truck wheels and packaged it to look great on Walmart clearance shelves. The fact that they’ve sold 50 million records around the world coupled with near universal derision from music lovers shows that we really do love to hate Nickelback.
Dubstep icon Skrillex is known more for his genre-defining haircut than for any of the tabloid faux-pas that define so many others on this list. When your music sounds like monster farts, however, you don’t really have to do much to get people scratching their heads. Before re-emerging from a warehouse party as Skrillex circa 2010, Sonny Moore fronted screamo band From First to Last in the 2000s, only reinforcing that this man has an uncanny talent for spearheading lame musical fads.
Guns n Roses “Sweet Child O’ Mine”
This hair metal prima Donna almost doesn’t deserve to be mentioned because he’s put out such little new material in recent years. The decade long wait for ‘Chinese Democracy’ along with tales of concert no-shows suggest that the Guns n’ Roses frontman may just run on a different timeline than the rest of us. Or maybe he’s spending all that time primping his cornrows. Either way, you should know something’s gone awry when all your original band members have left and your replacement guitar player is wearing a KFC bucket for a hat.
Scott Stapp/Kid Rock
This dynamic duo gets paired together for a notorious stint on tour (4) involving some groupies and a couple of our favorite turn-of-the-century rockers. One might expect such debauchery from the king of trailer park rock, but Creed frontman Stapp may have lost a few true believers when he welcomed this ménage-a-trois with arms wide open.
Lana Del Rey
Lana Del Rey “Born to Die”
Queen of Americana mope cabaret Lana Del Rey received an immediate backlash after a subdued (and out of tune) performance on Saturday Night Live in 2012. It seems Lana may be better suited for dramatically taking long, slow drags off a cigarette than for singing on stage. It’s alright though – soon enough James Dean will show up on a motorcycle and they’ll ride off into a sultry, never-ending sunset.
Justin Bieber “As Long As You Love Me”
Ever since Justin Bieber morphed from child YouTube sensation into a full-fledged teen pop star, the world at large has been subject to an increasing stream of questionable choices from the Billboard chart topper. One particular quote stating that Holocaust victim Anne Frank “would have been a belieber” left many wondering if the Biebs had taken a detour off the deep end. After an arrest in 2014 for drunk driving and assault, it appears that Bieber has become not just a menace to our eardrums, but to society as a whole.
Kelly “I Believe I Can Fly”
This smooth voiced hit maker is living proof that fame gives you a get-out-of-jail-free card. After an incident involving a video camera, a questionably legal fan, and R&B’s golden child himself, the public began to gather that no one was safe from the crooner’s Midas touch. Once the proverbial sour taste left our mouths, we were left wondering what other secrets R. Kelly might keep trapped in the closet.
Miley Cyrus “Wrecking Ball”
Does every pop star groomed by the Disney Channel have to have a good-girl-gone-bad phase? If so, none come close to the candy-colored, bong-ripping outrageousness of Miley’s latest foray into pop music. Pals including Robin “I know you want it” Thicke and mustache-creeper extraordinaire Terry Richardson must have father Billy Ray nursing an achy breaky heart.
Kanye West “Good Lyfe”
When it comes to artists we love to hate, “College Dropout” superstar Kanye West may as well be the head of the alumni association. Between his takeover of Taylor Swift’s VMA award speech, his self-proclamation that “I Am a God,” and the bizarre green-screen love session that is the video for ‘”Bound 2”, Kanye has no trouble proving that his ego is big enough for all 10 positions on this list. The only reason we gave him the number 2 slot is because he’s almost trying too hard to earn our seal of disapproval.
It’s one thing to express a never-ending spiritual quest in songs such as “Where the Streets Have No Name” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” but when you try to be a superhero for the entire continent of Africa it starts to look a little like a savior complex. Either way, when you make your new album mandatory listening for every iPod owner on the planet, you may just be admitting that people are having a hard time caring about your band anymore.
Provided by Decluttr