The Shady Side Of Adam Levine

Adam Levine is an extremely talented guy. He's handsome. He can sing. He got "Moves Like Jagger" stuck in the heads of everyone on the planet for about a year. He's a happily married dad to a little girl named Dusty Rose.

He also, well, can be kind of a jerk. 

That half-hearted halftime show

Setting aside the almost overwhelmingly negative response to Maroon 5's performance during the halftime show at Super Bowl LIII, there is a whole other reason fans were left disappointed by the band over the gig. After Rihanna and Cardi B declined to perform, the latter of whom explicitly stating she did so out of solidarity with Colin Kaepernick's "take a knee" protest, Maroon 5 signed on alongside rappers Big Boi and Travis Scott.

Fans immediately called on Levine and his band to reverse that decision, and they even started a petition begging them to do so, which garnered over 100,000 signatures to no avail. The show went on, and the result was lackluster at best, with mainstream outlets like USA Today even describing it as "flavorless" in their headline. And the worst part, for some critics, was that none of the performers gave even the slightest nod to Kaepernick or his cause.

So, did Levine eat crow, admit it wasn't his best night, and apologize for disappointing people on nearly every possible level? Nope, not at all. Instead, he wrote a vague Instagram post about the "responsibility" of such a high level performance, and thanked "the universe," "[the band's] fans," and "critics for always pushing us to do better."

He disses the VMAs all the time

Adam Levine took the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards allegedly cutting off singer Julia Michaels' debut performance pretty personally.

"It's always exciting to see how utterly horrible the VMAs will be," Levine tweeted during the ceremony, adding, "Julia Michaels gets cut off while she's singing and Lorde gets to NOT sing her whole song." And it wasn't the first time he beefed with the show. In 2011, he tweeted, "The VMAs. One day a year when MTV pretends to still care about music. I'm drawing a line in the sand. F**k you VMAs." 

Turns out, Levine may have a case of sour grapes. He admitted to USA Today in 2014 that he was a bit bitter that Maroon 5 hadn't been invited back to the show since winning Best New Artist in 2004, but was happy they were invited in 2014. "For many years, we felt like the uninvited dinner guests, but after much persistence and perhaps a little too much mouthing off, they seemed to have changed their minds," Levine said in his 2014 interview. "So thank you, MTV."

By 2015, he changed his tune again on Twitter, writing, "I'm five minutes into the #VMAs and I already need a shower."

He was bitter about Coachella

Sour grapes don't just strike Levine when the VMAs roll around. He also seems awfully bitter about being left out of the Coachella Festival. In 2011, he tweeted of the fest, "It's as if Coachella means 'place I need to go to find out what I'm supposed to be into.' Maybe I'm just bitter cause I've never been invited." A year later, he apparently still wasn't invited, because he tweeted, "Only thing better than going to Coachella? NOT going to Coachella!!!" In 2014, he tweeted, "I feel out of place at Coachella because I left my slutty jean shorts at home."

He finally seemed to get invited in 2015, when he was spotted at a Coachella party with wife Prinsloo.

He feuded with Christina Aguilera on air...

In 2012, Levine started a beef with fellow The Voice coach Christina Aguilera, throwing contestant Tony Lucca into the middle of things. Lucca knew Aguilera from their Mickey Mouse Club days, though she seemed to not recall knowing him. Lucca joined Team Adam, and Levine used him to egg Aguilera on all season. The feud culminated with Lucca's performance of Jay-Z's "99 Problems," which Aguilera diplomatically deemed offensive.

"Your beautiful wife and your daughter and family are here tonight, and I just thought the lyrical connotation was a little derogatory towards women," Aguilera said, adding that Lucca "sounded great." 

Radar Online reported that Levine planned the performance to troll Xtina. "Adam and Tony wanted to call Christina out as a b***h but make it clear she's not a problem for Tony," a source told the tab. "It was completely aimed at her. It was Adam's idea, but Tony absolutely loved it. Christina thought it was ridiculous. She was highly offended."

So, how did Levine react to Lucca's song choice being called out on live TV by Aguilera? "It's called a metaphor," he snipped, before (perhaps sarcastically) declaring his love for her and showing off a "Team Xtina" shirt. 

...and behind the scenes

Levine's beef with Aguilera didn't end when cameras stopped rolling. A source told Radar Online, "Adam went right up to Christina and said, 'You're the biggest f***ing c**t. Obviously Christina was appalled and hissed that Adam should be fired. She's sick of being treated this way ... Christina is so sick of Adam being looked at as the golden boy of the show. If America knew how disgusting he was, they would be appalled, she always says ... He was being incredibly immature."

Another insider told Radar Online that the feud was constant and that Levine preyed on Aguilera in specific yet underhanded, subtle, and often passive aggressive ways to deliberately set her off.

"Adam is making it more about getting at Christina this season and he's very good at getting under her skin," a source said. "He comes off as a really great guy, but he's very smart the way he takes jabs at Christina. Adam's very subtle and doesn't use words, just sneaky actions. She is sick of the way she's being treated and she's disgusted with Adam."

Levine insisted to Rolling Stone, "We just bicker like brother and sister, and part of it is fabricated by the television gods. But she's great. I respect the s**t out of her."

Even other Voice personalities got annoyed with him

Levine's bickering with Aguilera didn't just annoy the "Dirrty" singer—even other coaches and host Carson Daly were irritated by the beef.

"It's getting a little bit inconvenient for everyone," fellow The Voice coach Cee Lo Green told Us Weekly of the feud in 2012.

"Adam hasn't come to me and spoken to me [about his issues] and neither has Christina. But whatever it is, I'm hoping that we can get over it," Green added. "It's not something that we should carry over into season three. I want the integrity of the show intact."

Daly concurred, and hinted that the infighting was nothing new. "It's frustrating in the same way when you're just with your family on Thanksgiving and the conversation over Monopoly gets heightened for a second: I'm looking at my sister going, 'is my blood really boiling over the fact that you have Park Place?'" he said. "Then it goes away. And that's what that was. It's nothing new for us."

He felt threatened by Pharrell

A source told Radar Online that Levine wasn't a fan of fellow The Voice coach Pharrell Williams, simply because Williams was good at his job.

"[Levine] feels shafted behind the scenes," a source said. "Not only is Pharrell talking the contestants that Adam would have generally locked in with ease, but he is also a favorite among the production staff. He takes this role very seriously and is new and fresh. Adam is just jaded after doing it for so many seasons," the insider added. "Production staff are saying that not only does Adam act like an a**hole, but he is totally of jealous of Pharrell and this season has brought out his true colors."

He started a beef with Miley Cyrus ...

Levine seems to have issues with a lot of judges who aren't Blake Shelton. An insider told Radar Online that the Maroon 5 frontman loathes Miley Cyrus. "Adam really cannot stand Miley because he thinks that she is the most obnoxious person ever," the source said. "Adam does not really want to return if they bring Miley back. He really is that over it."

A source also revealed that the bickering between Cyrus and Levine started almost immediately after the "Wrecking Ball" singer signed on to the show. "Adam and Miley were non-stop bickering during their last taping together. He nitpicks almost every single thing she says," the source told Radar Online. "Adam seems to find Miley to be extremely loud-mouthed and absolutely annoying!"

An insider told Us Weekly that Levine may have met his match in Cyrus, which is why they're butting heads. "They both have short attention span. They find each other annoying," the source said. "Adam would get agitated when Miley would interrupt him, and she enjoyed getting under his skin." Karma, thy name is Miley.

...and with Lady Gaga

Levine's feuds with female artists aren't limited to the ladies with whom he works on The Voice. The "Sugar" singer also seems to have a long-term bone to pick with Lady Gaga. In 2011, he tweeted, "Lady Gaga took 'Vogue' and 'Express Yourself' and put them in a blender. The result: 'Born This Way.'" Gaga never acknowledged this diss.

Two years later, he took shots via subtweets at Mother Monster again, once more unprompted, when she dropped her "Applause" video from ARTPOP, which referenced several major works of art throughout history, including Sandro Botticelli's Venus and the movie The Seventh Seal (1957).

"Ugh..recycling old art for a younger generation doesn't make you an artist. It makes you an art teacher," he wrote, followed by, "I unabashedly love writing and performing pop music for both myself AND everyone around me. That's It. It doesn't need any extra sauce."

Gaga responded in kind, writing, "Uh oh guys, the art police is here." Levine didn't back down, tweeting, "by the way, im NOT an artist. i sing in a band and i make music with my friends ... Methinks thou dost protest too much...yikes!!! While we're at it we should call the grammar police."

He was hypocritical...about perfume

Speaking of "doth protest too much," Levine contradicted himself in a big way in 2012. In 2011, he tweeted, "I also would like to put an official ban on celebrity fragrances. Punishable by death from this point forward." His Voice frenemy Aguilera, who has seven perfumes of her own, made sure to remind Levine of the comment a year later when he released a scent of his own. "Ha ha. Adam Levine, what a difference a year makes," she tweeted. "Welcome to the celebrity fragrance family!"

He backtracked on his original comments while potentially also shading Aguilera, telling People, "I know there's a stigma attached to it. A stigma that I fully understand because I, too, hate the idea of a celebrity fragrance, absolutely, 100 percent. I kind of thought to myself, 'Well I'm interested in fashion and there's a lot of things about it that could be really cool if done properly," he said. "So I want to do a thing that's never done properly. That's my goal. It's going to be cool."

His thoughts about monogamy sure have evolved

Adam Levine became a married man in July 2014 when he wed his stunning bride, Victoria's Secret model Behati Prinsloo. Since they're still going strong, as of this writing, it's probably safe to assume Levine kept his marital vows intact by remaining a one-woman man. This state of monogamy, however, was not always Levine's default mode.

In fact, the Maroon 5 frontman used to spend a lot of interview ink waxing philosophic about his love life, like his 2012 chat with Details, just one week shy of his breakup with then-girlfriend Anne Vyalitsyna, who was — wait for it — also a Victoria's Secret model. Levine spoke of his own promiscuity, dismissing it as just his overwhelming "love" for the opposite sex. Then, at a different point in the interview, he referred to his gyrating crotch as the thing that "yoga's good for," which is probably not what they have in mind when they put in on the schedule at the YMCA.

Anyway, Levine was even more direct with Cosmopolitan in 2009, when he said, "Instinctively, monogamy is not in our genetic makeup. People cheat. I have cheated. And you know what? There is nothing worse than the feeling of doing it." That's great that he's remorseful and all, but what's his plan for defeating his apparently DNA-coded wandering eye?

He dumped Nina Agdal by text

Levine dated Prinsloo from 2012 to spring 2013, when he hooked up with fellow supermodel Nina Agdal while on a break from his now-wife. A source told Page Six that when Levine chose to shack up with Prinsloo again, he told a "heartbroken" Agdal via text, in which he also announced his engagement to the Victoria's Secret stunner. A source concurred to Us Weekly, "Adam just went MIA on Nina and stopped answering her calls. He finally told her about Behati in a text message." Classy!

He may have been a homewrecker

Us Weekly reported that in 2004, while Jessica Simpson was still married to first husband Nick Lachey, that she was seen doing a walk of shame out of Levine's suite at the infamous Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles. Spies claimed that Simpson left a party at the hotel to spend time in Levine's room ... and didn't emerge until the next morning, rocking the same outfit and shoes that she'd worn the night before. E! News reported that he later dumped Simpson by text message.

He gives TMI about his hookups

Before Levine got married, he had a rep as a lothario—and some of that was his own fault. The crooner has been pretty candid about his romps. He once told Howard Stern about his and ex Anne V's, er, birth control methods. In 2007, he told Stern about how he had sex with then-girlfriend Rebecca Ginos the first night they met. He also threw Lindsay Lohan under the bus to the notorious shock jock when a list of her sexual partners, featuring Levine, was leaked to In Touch Weekly. In a carefully worded denial, Levine griped (via the Mirror), "I did not have sexual intercourse with Lindsay Lohan... I think we're being truthful about that very specific thing." When asked who did sleep with the troubled starlet, the chivalrous gentleman replied, "A lot of people probably did, I don't know."

He claimed to hate America

When a Levine-favorite contestant was voted off of The Voice in 2013, a frustrated Levine muttered, "I hate this country." While he was clearly speaking hyperbolically and out of pure aggravation, he still angered a lot of people. He initially stood by his commentary by tweeting the dictionary definition of the word "humorless," but changed his tune when the backlash grew louder.

He released a statement the next day explaining himself (via The Hollywood Reporter), "I obviously love my country very much and my comments last night were made purely out of frustration. Being a part of The Voice, I am passionately invested in my team and want to see my artists succeed. Last night's elimination of Judith and Sarah was confusing and downright emotional for me and my comments were made based on my personal dissatisfaction with the results. I am very connected to my artists and know they have long careers ahead, regardless of their outcome on the show."

He's a serial modelizer

Like Leonardo DiCaprio, Levine has a reputation for being attracted to a very specific type of woman: Supermodels. (Before Prinsloo, there was Agdal and Anne V., and those are just the ones we know about.)

During a rambling response to GQ about his dating "preference," Levine first pontificated about "women ... who date men for their money" and people with "foot fetishes," before finally addressing his own apparent tastes. "Men are not as sophisticated as women," he said, adding, "There's a very Neanderthal quality that still exists in a lot of men. There's the carnal s**t you can't deny. And if you're in the public eye, to me, it's very boring to say what you have to say and be media trained to the extent that you don't ever reveal any truth. There was a time in my life when I lived probably a bit more on the primal level. And it was amazing." Great! Glad that's all cleared up. 

He's called himself a douchebag before

If nothing else, at least Levine is somewhat self-aware. He told GQ that he is well aware of how he can come off to others. "Would it be really easy to assume that I was a douchebag? Definitely. One hundred percent. But that doesn't mean that I am. Or maybe I am, I don't know," he said. "That's kind of how I feel. I'm not the easiest person to love right off the bat, you know. If I knew everyone in the world, they would love me. Every single last f**king one of them."

Except maybe Lady Gaga.