Celebs Who Got Booed Off Stage And Totally Deserved It

Many people boo at the visiting teams in sports, or the politicians they don't like, or even movie villains. Nothing too strange there, right? Musicians and other public figures aren't immune to unfavorable crowds, either. After her lip-syncing incident on "Saturday Night Live" in 2004, Ashlee Simpson performed in the 2005 Orange Bowl and heard the unpleasant shouts of the crowd. "There was some booing that went on after the halftime show was finished. If they didn't like the performance, and that's what it was about, then sorry to them,"  she told MTV News. Simpson added, "Maybe they were booing at me, maybe they were booing at the halftime show 'cause the whole thing sucked. ... But I can't make everybody happy." That's one way to look at it!

Some entertainers have been booed unnecessarily. Not the people on this list, though. One could easily say they all deserved the negative reaction they received for one reason or another, as barbaric as booing can be. A few of these famous folks responded to the ruckus with either an apology or a statement. Others kept quiet, probably hoping people would forget all about their dreadful time onstage. 

Sinéad O'Connor faced an unforgiving New York crowd

October 3, 1992 was arguably the day Sinéad O'Connor went from a celebrated pop star to music's biggest villain. That was the night she tore up a photo of Pope John Paul II while performing on "SNL," in efforts to protest child sex abuse in the Catholic church. "Fight the real enemy!" O'Connor said after tearing the photo. The repercussions were immediate — NBC banned the Irish singer for life, while famous and non-famous people alike expressed criticism

Some fans might've been surprised to see O'Connor play Bob Dylan's 30th-anniversary concert a mere 13 days after that controversial TV performance. And the bill was legendary, per Rolling Stone, including musical titans such as Johnny Cash, Tom Petty, Stevie Wonder, and Neil Young. Now, before O'Connor took the stage, actor and singer Kris Kristofferson gave her a nice introduction, but his kind words did nothing to erase the crowd's memory of her "SNL" performance. Simply put, the crowd booed O'Connor badly and she told her band to stop playing twice because the noise was so loud. As she did on "Saturday Night Live," the protest singer launched into an a capella version of Bob Marley's "War." A rattled O'Connor then accepted a hug from Kristofferson as she exited the stage.

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Elon Musk got booed near Twitter's headquarters

The Chase Center in San Francisco couldn't be named more appropriately, considering the show Dave Chappelle played there in December 2022 — the crowd wanted to chase Elon Musk right out of the arena. Chappelle was doing a show with Chris Rock at the time and brought Musk to the stage during his set, eliciting boos from the crowd. "It sounds like some of the people you fired are in the audience," said the comedian, referring to Musk terminating Twitter engineers and salespeople shortly after he took ownership of the digital platform in a $44 billion buyout in October 2022.

Then things got a little strange after the Twitter owner and Tesla co-founder asked Chappelle what to say to the booing crowd (via The Washington Post). Chappelle told him to say nothing. From there, Chappelle seemed to reprimand them for booing, saying it wasn't the best thing they could do to express themselves. Then there was an awkward prayer from the comic. "I wish everybody in this auditorium peace and the joy of feeling free, and may your pursuit of happiness make you happy. Amen," said Chappelle.

Musk eventually responded to the boos in a now-deleted tweet, writing, "Technically, it was 90% cheers & 10% boos (except during quiet periods), but, still, that's a lot of boos, which is a first for me in real life (frequent on Twitter)," he tweeted, according to the Independent.

Drake didn't get the pop star treatment

It would be easy to assume that the crowd went wild when Drake was a surprise guest at Tyler, the Creator's Camp Flog Gnaw festival on November 10, 2019. Well, they did — wild with boos.

At first, everything looked fine when Drake hit the stage, as the crowd showed excitement. It's not clear how many songs he was scheduled to play, but some people began moaning as his set continued. A faction of the crowd also let it be known that they wanted singer Frank Ocean on the stage instead, who wasn't scheduled to perform but was in Tyler's Odd Future group before it disbanded. "Like I said, I'm here for you tonight. If you want to keep going, I will keep going tonight. What's up?" Drake told the crowd after playing nine songs.

There were screams of "no" afterward, prompting the rapper to bid the audience goodnight and exit the stage. Then, the following morning, Tyler blasted the Camp Flog Gnaw crowd for their "mob mentality." However, he also tweeted: "I THOUGHT BRINGING ONE OF THE BIGGEST ARTIST ON THE F***ING PLANET TO A MUSIC FESTIVAL WAS FIRE! BUT FLIPSIDE, A LIL TONE DEAF KNOWING THE SPECIFIC CROWD IT DREW." The artist did not excuse fans for their behavior, just acknowledged that they weren't expecting to see Drake. The rapper took it in stride, writing in a since-deleted Instagram post, "Plot twist...just signed a 10 year residency at Camp Flog Gnaw sorry kids see you EVERY SINGLE YEAR till you are 30" (via Variety). 

Marilyn Manson had one too many

In 2021, at the "Louder Than Life" festival, Machine Gun Kelly was booed by fans of the heavy metal band Slipknot after getting into a back-and-forth with lead singer Corey Taylor. But as it turns out, Kelly wasn't the first artist to get a chilly response from Slipknot fans while playing — Marilyn Manson did nine years prior at the "Soundwave" festival in Sydney, Australia.

But unlike Kelly, the "Mechanical Animals" singer didn't bicker with Taylor; he bickered with the stage crew instead, according to Rock and Metal Newz. He poured powder on the head of his bassist and admitted that he was drunk. Then add to all of that Slipknot being on the bill as well, and it was the perfect storm for boos to come raining down on Manson. His audience reportedly chanted "Slipknot." Elsewhere in Manson's set, a woman could be heard cursing at him while demanding that he get off the stage. Let's just say Soundwave 2012 wasn't one of Manson's top performances.

Keanu Reeves wasn't booed because of his acting

It seems like there are a zillion bands out there, but not all of them can brag about having a Hollywood movie star as one of their members. The guys in Dogstar claimed actor Keanu Reeves as their bassist. The "Speed" star formed the band in 1991 with fellow actor and musician Robert Mailhouse, whom he met at a Los Angeles supermarket, Alex Pappademas shared in "Keanu Reeves: Most Triumphant" (per GQ). The band was fairly productive in the studio, releasing a handful of projects. But they were more popular for their performances since — surprise, surprise — audience members wanted to see Reeves in person. So before Dogstar stopped playing together for good in 2001, they had opened for David Bowie and toured with Bon Jovi. 

There was one show, however, where the L.A. band was booed mercilessly. It was at Milwaukee Metal Fest in 1992, and although Dogstar's music leaned more toward alternative, they were put on the bill with full-on metal acts for some reason. "We played Milwaukee Metal Fest. Got killed," Reeves told GQ, while also suggesting that the band could've been a lot better. "I think we played close to Murphy's Law. Imagine. So we played a Grateful Dead cover ... We were like, 'They hate us. What are we doing here? What can we do? Let's do the Grateful Dead cover.' They were just like, 'F*** you, you suck.' I had the biggest grin on my face, man." 

George Lazenby didn't read the room

All people wanted to do was get some behind-the-scenes info on the James Bond character, hear some cool stories, and listen to some good music. But the crowd in Perth, Australia, who attended George Lazenby's "Music of James Bond" tour in 2022 didn't get any of that. Instead, they got a bunch of sex talk and highly inappropriate stories. And if that wasn't bad enough, the former James Bond actor trivialized Queen Elizabeth's death.

"He spent all of the interview just talking basically about his sexual conquests, he was homophobic, he swore, he certainly wasn't talking about his Bond movies, he downplayed the queen, a day after she died," said an audience member calling into Australia's 6PR882. The caller added, "He named women he had slept with, and there were children in the audience, and a lot families who had brought their kids probably to their first classical music concert." Per The West Australian (via The Sun), Lazenby was booed away after an attendee exclaimed, "Excuse me, this is offensive!"

Concertworks, the promoters, eventually booted Lazenby off the tour and made an apologetic statement denouncing his choice of words. Someone from The WA Symphony Orchestra also released a statement, and Lazenby did, as well. "I am sorry and saddened to hear that my stories in Perth on Saturday might have offended some people," he wrote. "It was never my intention to make hurtful or homophobic comments and I am truly sorry if my stories that I have shared many times were taken that way."

Michael Richards made racist remarks

In 2006, eight years after the cast of "Seinfeld" took their final bows after nine hilarious seasons, Jerry Seinfeld returned to his successful stand-up comedy career. Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who played Elaine Benes, debuted her well-received sitcom "The New Adventures of Old Christine." And Jason Alexander, who portrayed George Costanza, racked up plenty of film and TV roles

Michael Richards, who played Cosmo Kramer, was also doing stand-up comedy years after the sitcom ended and after "The Michael Richards Show" was canceled. There was a lot of talk surrounding the cancellation of his show, but that was nothing compared to the chatter over a racist meltdown he had at a Los Angeles comedy club. In November 2006, Richards yelled racial epithets, claiming he had been interrupted by a Black person in the audience.

Some in the crowd seemed to make light of Richards' words by chuckling, while others expressed disgust. In the end, the actor was booed off the stage as people shouted angrily at him. Later, Richards apologized repeatedly, including on the "Late Show With David Letterman" when Jerry Seinfeld was a guest.

Foxy Brown's comeback show didn't go well

In the mid-'90s, New York rapper Foxy Brown was heard and seen all through hip-hop realms due to the success of her 1996 debut album "Ill Na Na." After some time, she was out of rap's spotlight completely, seeing that her last LP was released in 2001. Billboard reported in 2005 that Brown had been diagnosed with "sudden and severe hearing loss," but she had a surgery to regain her hearing in 2006, per MTV News.

The rapper's fans got to see her perform in her hometown of New York City on Kandi Burruss' 2019 Welcome to the Dungeon Tour. During the performance, Brown — who performed in a mask — seemed to forget some lyrics to old songs and did more walking around than rapping. It would be wrong to call her entire performance bad, but the crowd eventually had enough. The people on stage with Brown escorted the rapper out after the boos came. Burruss attempted to manage the amped-up crowd afterward, but the damage was done. "Y'all gotta respect my girl..." said Burruss. She reportedly added, "Let her take the mask off" (via Rolling Out).

Donald Glover angered people in Australia

In 2015, Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino packed a venue in Newcastle, Australia, the Cambridge Hotel. There was a sold-out crowd in attendance, but in the end, people wanted their money back. Glover, who was jeered off stage, was accused of not delivering on what was advertised. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Glover remained onstage for 40 minutes before truly doing anything. He was also surrounded by his entourage for a large portion of his time there, and the Newcastle crowd certainly didn't pay good money to see him hang out with friends and associates.

He did perform a little bit, but the show was disjointed, thanks to the 40-minute delay and so many random people occupying the stage. As the Sydney Morning Herald observed, "...[the audience was] left chanting obscenities after [Glover] performed a solo falsetto song and left the stage." Eventually, someone possibly from Glover's camp responded to the negative reaction by saying the show was supposed to be a DJ set, not a full-on concert. "Regardless of whose error in communication that was, Gambino's team takes it very seriously when fans are disappointed," said Entertainment Weekly's source. Reportedly, Glover invited people who were at the Newcastle show to attend his set at the Listen Out music festival that took place that weekend in Sydney, Australia.