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Top 10 Times Musicians Lost Their Cool Onstage

by Henry Whitmoor
fact checked by Jamie Frater

On the surface, the lifestyle of a musician can appear exciting and glamorous. Behind the scenes, however, most artists spend years perfecting their craft. Touring is long, tiring, and repetitive. When a fan then decides to show his admiration by throwing a bottle or giving his version of the artist’s song, it will not go without punishment.

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10 Pitbull Bites Back


Armando Christian Perez chose the stage name Pitbull because he admired the determination of a pit bull to bite and never let go.[1] Well, he proved it in the video above.

The fan was throwing dollar bills at Pitbull. Even after being warned to stop twice, the fan continued. You’d think that Pitbull would admire the guy’s determination. But it didn’t quite work out that way.

Pitbull invited the fan to come onstage, which he did. This time, he threw more bills into Pitbull’s face, so the musician immediately responded by sinking a clean right hook into the fan’s face. The best part is that Pitbull went right back to performing his song as though there wasn’t an unconscious fan at his feet. (Spoiler alert: There was.)

9 Akon Throws A Fan Off The Stage

After Akon gave an emotional, heartfelt speech about the struggle of migrating from Africa, not understanding the culture, and being grateful for his success, one fan decided that it would be the perfect opportunity to throw his watch at Akon’s head.

Step 1. Get crowd of fans to point out the attacker.

Step 2. Take off vest and chain.

Step 3. Lift fan on your shoulders and throw him off the side of the stage.

Well, that fan then sued Akon for $350, which is probably the same price as Akon’s chain. If you add another three zeros.

8 Kurt Cobain vs. Security

Kurt Cobain gets punched on stage

When touring as a rock star in front of tens of thousands of fans, you will inevitably get a few bad eggs in the crowd. However, you would never expect one of them to be your own security guard. Some argue, however, that Kurt Cobain instigated this scenario.

In the (admittedly poorly filmed) video above, we see the lead singer of Nirvana, in the spur of the moment, jump into his fans’ waiting arms to crowd-surf. All goes well until Kurt is pushed back onstage with a few fans still holding on.

Kurt’s security guard is seen pulling the musician back onstage, but Kurt then smashes his guitar on the security guard’s head. Stunned, the guard responds with an overarm right hook into Cobain’s head, dropping him on the floor. After that, the rest of the band pulls the two men apart.

7 Afroman (But Then I Got Sued)

Afroman punches woman on stage

In 2000, Afroman made his debut with the cult classic “Because I Got High.” Since then, he has kept under the radar and was considered a one-hit wonder. So he started to move into solo guitar playing and ended up in the spotlight once again . . . unfortunately, not for his musical ability.

The clip above shows Joseph Foreman (Afroman) onstage in the zone. He is strumming his guitar when a female fan approaches from behind and starts grinding up against him. For all the stoners out there who claim that weed does not induce paranoia, Afroman immediately turns around and swings at her face with full power, knocking her face-first onto the stage floor.

Akin to Pitbull earlier in this list, Afroman goes straight back to strumming his guitar. Another fan (presumably the fallen fan’s boyfriend) stands up to Afroman as though confronting him but then turns toward the girl to check on her.

6 Action Bronson vs. Three Fans

Action Bronson throwing kids off stage in Chapel Hill / Carrborro 3/23/14

Action Bronson is very well-known for some strange onstage antics. Weighing in at over 113 kilograms (250 lb), you can see why he doesn’t have much need for security. If you need an excuse to procrastinate on your work, watch his awesome show on YouTube, F—k, That’s Delicious, where he goes around the world tasting different foods.

In the video above, a fan jumps onstage and starts dancing rather awkwardly. After realizing it was probably not the best idea, he tries to escape offstage to hide back in the crowd.

Unfortunately, Action catches up with him and seizes his arm. Then the rapper grabs the fan in a rear naked choke, lifts the man over his head, and throws him back into the crowd. Another fan thinks that would be the best time to follow suit and also jumps onstage. That ends with him on the floor. The third fan doesn’t have much luck, either.

5 Marilyn Manson vs. His Guitarist

[Live]Marilyn Manson-The Beautiful People

Members in bands don’t always have the same synergy in their music as they do in their real lives. Disagreements inevitably occur, egos inflate, and each member loves the spotlight.

Well, it’s hard to steal the spotlight from a guy dressed in black leather, fluorescent contact lenses, and black boots that are 25 centimeters (10 in) thick. To be honest, we’re not sure if this was staged or not. But before you comment (“Fake!”), at least enjoy the ridiculousness of a guy in a Mickey Mouse costume fighting another guy in zombie makeup.

Marilyn Manson (in the Mickey Mouse suit) is known for his bizarre antics onstage. In this one, he marches clumsily, raises his legs waist-high, and proceeds to walk straight into his lead guitarist’s face.

The guitarist removes his guitar, which is strapped over his shoulder, and lifts his arms in the typical 1940s “stick ’em up, kid” fashion. It ends with Marilyn Manson intimidating the guitarist, who continues to play. Very strange scene.

4 Kid Cudi

Kid Cudi Pushes Fan Off Stage In Houston : “Not On My Watch”

In the video above, Kid Cudi is dressed to the nines in what seems to be a cross between an Iron Man and a Power Ranger suit. Unfazed, a fan gets onstage, dancing behind Kid Cudi. The musician runs up to the fan and pushes him gently, to which the excited fan dramatically falls back.

3 Lil Wayne vs. Ice Cube(s)

Lil Wayne Threatens Fan For Throwing Ice On Him! [New Jersey]

Even if you do not like Lil Wayne’s music, you must admit the guy has had a very successful rap career. With several platinum records and many gold, his popularity is undeniable. However, rappers occasionally like to be appreciated for more than just their music.

Sometimes, they feel the need to give a heart-to-heart speech about their appreciation for their fans. Well, that gratitude isn’t always met with the same respect from some members of the crowd.

In the clip above, we see Lil Wayne go into a spiel about how he would never have been as successful as he is without his fans. Midway through, an audience member decides to throw ice at him. Lil Wayne loses his cool and threatens the fan, saying that he won’t have to deal with security but with Lil Weezy himself.

2 Left Brain

This one gets a little crazy. Left Brain, a member of Odd Future, is known to be a bit of a loose cannon. Tyler, the Creator (the main guy in Odd Future), hasn’t made a song or done a show with Left Brain in over four years.

In the video above, Left Brain is performing onstage. Then he jumps in to create a mosh pit in front of the crowd. As he gets back onstage, a fan starts shouting insults at him. Left Brain calls the fan to come to the front of the stage, and the fan agrees.

Left Brain high-fives the man and then, with all his power, slaps the fan across the face. We’d say that fan is entitled to a refund at least.

1 Migos

Migos Member Offset “Superman Punches” Fan; Brawl Ensues

If you don’t know who Migos is, you probably have at least once mouthed along to . . . raindrop . . . drop top. For those of you who have no clue what we’re talking about, Migos is a rap group made up of three cousins who have recently exploded in popularity.

The video above shows what happens when you’ve paid for front-row seats and swear profusely at the band members. It seems that the attention of Migos member Offset is being drawn to someone in the crowd being disrespectful to him. As a result, Offset decides to superman punch the fan. Offset dives off the stage with his arm outstretched straight into the guy’s face. Ouch.

Henry is a freelance writer and is never scared to skate on the edges of controversy. If you find anything he writes offensive, feel free to angrily shake your fist at the laptop screen.


fact checked by Jamie Frater