Gigwise writer Nadia Khomami looks at the possible reasons...
Nadia Khomami

14:06 9th June 2010

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When Glastonbury revealed that U2 had cancelled their headline performance there were outcries, but mostly of genuine delight rather than disappointment. Some of the more risque festival-goers even went so far as to wish upon Bono a permanent state of crippleness.  Now I’ll confess that I have never been a massive fan of the Times magazine double-wammy winner either, but I’ve never actually sat down and asked myself just why that is.

I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s a mixture of the sunglasses, the self-righteousness and the do as I say- not as I do attitude. Does that place me in a box alongside, as U2 fans claim, the socially and culturally immoral? Maybe.
I’ve always found it difficult liking the modern rockstar-turned-political activist because there always seems to exist a distinction between their private lives and their public lives. The world-conscious demi-God’s holier than thou morality is usually a half-hearted spat in reality  Stick to what you’re good at is my mantra.

At the same time, Strummer and Lennon are great idols, so what’s the difference? To me, people like Bono put themselves on a pedestal; their self-projected personality is larger than their actual message. He doesn’t sing alongside the masses, he sings to them. It’s the same reason I dislike Michael Moore. And Richard Dawkins. And people who wear hemp. 

It might also be the little facts, like while Bono was doing Live Aid and Live 8, he was simultaneously suing his ex hairdresser for attempting to auction off one of his hats. Or that when the infamous ‘lucky hat’ was left behind in Ireland, he had it flown over to the US in business class.

I might be overstepping the mark. In the space that I’ve written this, Bono will probably have cured an African country of poverty, and there will be a press conference in the morning about it. I love to hate him for using ineffable and irresistibly irksome lines such as ‘celebrity is currency’, and yet I cannot deny that he is right in some respect. With fame, there does come influence.

What strikes me the most, however, is that a lot of people will not be able to tell you why they dislike Bono; they just do. Nevertheless, the same people complain about chart-hits like Scouting for Girls, whose wisdom doesn’t extend too far beyond one-liners such as “she’s so lovely, she’s so lovely.”  I might just be one of them.

What it essentially boils down to is this: people will find you annoying for no reason other than that you wear sunglasses, constantly. Unless you’re Bob Dylan - and a lot of people find him annoying too. That and the fact that you might be a bit of a hypocrite. No one likes being preached to, especially in the case of a guilt-ridden millionaire prancing about in the name of Socialism.
Still, wishing Bono a permanent state of disability might be a tad too far, and that’s coming from me. There is some heart in there, if you rummage around the excess. Anyway, U2 are set to play the headline slot at the festival next year, so we shouldn’t mope too hard.

The Most Annoying People In Music...Ever!!

  • 50. Adam Levine – The bland frontman of one of the blandest bands to emerge this side of the millennium, Maroon 5, Mr Levine really has a lot to answer for. The fact that he's the man who wrote and sung the abominable, holocaust of a song 'She Will Be Loved' is completely irredeemable.

  • 49. Fred Durst – The 38-year-old's main crime is that he's frontman of one of the most turgid bands to reach the upper echelons of the charts over the past 15 years; the god-awful Limp Bizkit. Worse still, at the band's peak he dressed like a teenage skater boy, not to mention a vile sex tape in 2005 and mowing into two pedestrians while drink driving two years later. Oh, and he can't spell Biscuit.

  • 48. Brandon Flowers – It's not just Gigwise who finds Brandon annoying. Just ask photographers. The Killers frontman is so specific about his image that he won't allow any pictures to be taken beneath him during the band's live shows. Why? Because he's worried about being caught with a double chin!

  • 47. Alanis Morrissette – Somehow Alanis Morrissette was one of the biggest female vocalists of the 90s. We say somehow because she possesses one of the most frustrating and annoying voices of all time. Isn't it ironic how some singers make it big?

  • 46. DMX – Either DMX has got a serious addiction to crime or he's just plain stupid. The rapper has grabbed more headlines for his multiple arrests – including violent behaviour, DUI, animal cruelty, drug possession, reckless driving and many more – than his actual music.

  • 45.Jared Leto – If anyone is a case for staying out of rock music and sticking to the day job, then it's Mr Leto. To try and turn himself into a 'true' rock star, the actor has used every tired cliché in the book – from his makeup to his dress sense to his trademark, lifeless rock drawl. Importantly though, Leto has forgotten one major thing – how to write a decent tune.

  • 44. Conor Oberst – Conor Oberst, the singer who once said some rather stupid remarks about the late great John Peel, has done rather well on the indie scene considering his voice wines like a 2-year-old baby. Seriously Conor, if you start to sound a little older than an infant you might get some commercial success.

  • 43. Paul McCartney – Like a number of people on this list, you can't really deny Macca's legendary status as a member of one of the greatest bands of all time. The awful 'Mull of Kintyre' and 'The Frog Chorus' soon banish such pleasant memories though. And do you really have to throw the peace sign every time a camera is pointed at you Sir Paul?

  • 42. Fergie - "Let's get things started in hereeee…" OK, whatever, Fergie. With a vocal range that sounds like a strangled cat, it was impossible to leave the Black Eyed Peas star from our list.

  • 41. James Blunt – Widely derided for his insipid music and his curious luck at scoring beautiful women, a few years back the former army officer would've easily made it to the top of this countdown. But then we saw his outright hilarious appearance on Sesame Street singing 'My Triangle' and he went up in our estimation. Just a touch, though.

  • 40. Cher – The veteran singer has reportedly had so much plastic surgery, that if she sits too close to a fire she runs the risk of melting. The thing that gets our goat, however, is her 1998 smash hit 'Believe' and more to the point, the vocodered effect on her voice. It still torments us to this very day. Oh and she's got appalling dress sense too.

  • 39. Donny Tourette – Many of you will not have heard of Tourette's abysmal band Towers of London, but that's quite understandable considering they've only sold about 25 records around the globe. Tourette (not his real name, as you may have guessed), pretends to be punk with his peroxide blonde looks, faux-raucous behaviour and filthy mouth, and duly comes across like a complete twat in the process.

  • 38. P Diddy – Aka Puff Daddy, Puff, Sean Combs, Puffy, Sean John or simply Diddy (We're sure there are a few more). The man has changed his name so many times, it's starting to grate on us. And although it was a nice sentiment and all that, that Notorious BIG tribute song he ripped off The Police hung around the upper echelons of the charts like a smelly fart for far too long.

  • 37. Moby – We liked Moby's sixth studio album 'Play' when it was first released back in 1999, but then he sold his soul to Satan and flogged every single song to commercials around the globe. And while we agree with some of his outspoken views, his almost daily musings on his website can be sprawling, introverted and highly tedious.

  • 36. Elton John – His daft birth name, the undeserved knighthood, his podgy face, the ginger toupee, his laughable dress sense, the twitching right eyebrow at Diana's funeral... we could go on. Put simply, Reginald Kenneth Dwight is irritating to the core.

  • 35. Jennifer Lopez – She may claim she's still “Jenny from the block”, but in reality J Lo likes nothing more than to treated like a royalty – one look at her lengthy rider demands will confirm this. Rumour has it that she will only eat green M & M's and she has a penchant for Space Raider crisps. Okay, we may have made that bit up, but you get the picture.

  • 34. Amy Winehouse – Don't get us wrong, we feel sorry for Ms Winehouse – it can't be pleasant for anyone taking so many drugs that your skin starts to shrivel like a prune. It's the fact that she still insists on parading around Camden Town knowing too well that she's going to be followed around by a circus of paparazzi, rather than retiring to a desert island or a country retreat to sort her head out.

  • 33. Jay Kay – Or The Prat In The Hat as we like to call him. The squeaky-voiced, rodent-faced Jamiroquai singer has absolutely no redeeming features whatsover – lavishly rich, he blows all his money on fast cars and stupid hats and in the process still manages to date a string of models.

  • 32. Lily Allen – Few music stars in recent years have been as gobby as Lily Allen. If she's got an issue, you'll hear about it, ranging from Large Hadron Collider experiments (which she knows fuck all about) to her loathing for a certain X Factor judge. Worse, she even posts inane YouTube clips of herself all over the web where she eats yoghurt and other such drivel. Stick to the music please!

  • 31. Eminem – On his 2002 hit 'Without Me', the boy from Detroit referred to himself an astonishing 67 times, smashing the world record in the process. For his faux-moody postures, attention-grabbing swearing and swollen ego Mr Mathers definitely deserves a place on this list.

  • 30. Chris Martin – We can't really deny that Martin is a genial enough chap and Coldplay can in fact cobble together a decent-ish tune occasionally, but in his one-man bid to save the planet he's fast becoming the new Bono. However, the most grating thing about him is the stupid multi-coloured tape he always has plastered to his hands. Take it off Chris, take it off.

  • 29. Courtney Love – Of course, many Kurt Cobain fans loathe Courtney with a passion and have all kinds of conspiracy theories. The reason we've included her on the list is for the annoying drivel she prints on her own website blathering off about trite almost daily – Billy Corgan making her daughter cry, berating Madonna etc.

  • 28. Mark Ronson - Credit to Mark Ronson, he did a damn fine job producing those Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen records. The buck stops there though. As soon as he brought out that one-trick, trumpet-laden excuse of a covers album, 'Version', any muted respect we had for him went out of the window. The fact he's also a media whore appearing in every British tabloid daily adds insult to injury.

  • 27. Phil Collins %u2013 Up until 1975, Genesis were actually a relevant and forward-thinking band. Then when Peter Gabriel left drummer Phil Collins took over on vocals and they turned horrendously shit. If ruining a once great band isn't bad enough, Collins' very own drippy love ballads been tormenting us for decades now.

  • 26. Mika - A relative rarity for this list, Mika has gained a place on the countdown based on the sheer shiteness of his music alone. If anyone tells you that his high-pitched yelps and grating tunes are a good listen, they're either lying through their teeth or need mental help. Fast.

  • 25. Bryan Adams - Not only is Bryan Adam's theme for the movie Robin Hood one of the most irritating songs of all time, he also thought it was a wise career move to semi-revive the solo career of Spice Girl Mel C. Their song was called 'When You're Gone'. Well, you said it Bryan.

  • 24. Robbie Williams - After a few flop singles, the fat former Take That dancer was catapulted into stardom with his sickening, omnipotent ballad 'Angels' back in 1997. Ever since then we\'ve had to stomach his bloated ego, battles with drugs (yawn), list of celebrity girlfriends, attention-seeking ways, crap hit after crap hit and more. Thankfully we haven't heard from him for a good few years now - we await his return with a due sense of dread.

  • 23. John Mayer - How the hell Mayer scored the delightful Jennifer Aniston we\'ll never know. His music is terrible enough, but his incessant blathering across four (yes, FOUR!) online blogs are about as annoying as pubic crabs. Case in point is the mushy post he wrote to Fall Out Boy\'s Pete Wentz which read: "think the world of you. And wish you all the happiness your artsy head will accept. Fame is just one big lesson in being a man, and you\'re doing a bang up job." Disgusting.

  • 22. Kid Rock - If Jay Kay is a prat in a hat, then Kid Rock is definitely more of a twat. In a bid to hide his rapidly diminishing hairline, the rap-rocker is rarely pictured without wearing a hat, or even flicking a v sign. An obnoxious character all round, there's nothing Rock likes more than a fight - he's been involved in three major brawls in the past three years including his infamous fisticuffs with Tommy Lee.

  • 21. Johnny Borrell - Some of our American friends might not be too aware of the Razorlight frontman. Lucky you. Not only are his band's songs utter tripe, we have to put up with Mr Borrell prancing about topless in his tight white jeans (which disgustingly leave little to the imagination) while he warbles in his irksome voice. After he pulled Kirsten Dunst, his head swelled even further too.

  • 20. Mariah Carey - Pop aficionados say that Mariah has one of the most incredible voices in the music industry and she's a clean-living icon that we must strive to be like. To us though, her voice sounds like kittens drowning and she comes across like an airhead.

  • 19. Justin Hawkins - The aesthetically-challenged singer first brought misery and woe into our lives with naff mock-glam-rockers The Darkness. That was bad enough, but after defeating his clichéd £50,000 a year cocaine addiction he's now back to haunt us with the equally turgid Hot Leg. No doubt he'll be digging out those hideous all-in-one spandex outfits again too.

  • 18. Joss Stone - At the 2007 Brit Awards, the 20-year-old girl from Kent adopted a strange American twang, almost like Queen Madonna in reverse. She then began singing Amy Winehouse in the feigned accent, causing a pure tumble weed moment. When the British public turned on her, she moaned, wailing:'Why doesn't England like me?!' It's because you're a complete douchebag Joss.

  • 17. Scott Stapp - Where to start? Stapp is easily one of the worst rock vocalists in living memory and is in a band, Creed, who perform overly self-indulgent twaddle. Music aside, he's been arrested numerous times (including on the way to his honeymoon for DUI - how romantic!), he's a terrible drunk - he blasted Dave Grohl saying he has a 'little cock' while drunk on TV, amongst other examples - and is generally an obnoxious person.

  • 16. Celine Dion - "Near, far, wherever you are..." Five words that are enough to induce nausea in the best of us. Yes, the Canadian is responsible for one of the soppiest, omnipotent and perhaps worst love songs of all time with her Titanic theme tune. We can never forgive her for this complete tragedy of a song.

  • 15. Ricky Wilson of Kaiser Chiefs - Whether it's a "nah-nah-nah-nah-nahhhh!", an "oooooooooohhhhhhh" or even a "Ruby, Ruby, Ruby, Ruby, Ruuubay", to us the former art teacher's singing is the sonic equivalent of scraping your nails down a blackboard. Repeatedly. Worse still, he jumps about the stage like an idiot whilst wearing a school uniform.

  • 14. Avril Lavigne - What the hell is there to like about Avril Lavigne? That's the burning question. Her gnawing music is bad enough, but she's also completely dull, devoid of personality and lacks any sense of humour - just look up the interview on Popworld on Youtube for cutting evidence of this.

  • 13. R Kelly - His drippy love songs are pathetic enough, but when our Kelly puts on any of his array of Zorro masks we feel like giving him a well-deserved slap across his face.

  • 12. Gene Simmons - Yes, we know you've bedded thousands of beautiful women Gene despite your frightful looks, well done and all that, but do you have to still keep bleating on about it? Another rock star on our list with a seriously over-inflated ego.

  • 11. Bono - We can't fault Mr Hewson as a vocalist and musical entertainer, or indeed his intentions to help blighted people in the Third World. Good on him, in fact. Yet, the unwavering smugness on his face as he launches his holier-than-thou, egotistical public appeals time after time is infuriating. You can almost see his head swelling.

  • 10. Jessica Simpson - The airhead acted so stupid and ignorant on reality show Newlyweds that, in comparison, Paris Hilton on The Simple Life seemed like a member of Mensa. No wonder Nick Lachey did what any sane person would do when he jumped ship from the marriage in 2005.

  • 9. John Lydon - Oh how the mighty have fallen. 30 years ago, Lydon was one of punk's figureheads, perennially upsetting the establishment. Now he's nothing more than a portly caricature of his former self as he spouts endless rubbish in a bid to be controversial. The fact that he's recently sold his soul and become the new face of a Bristish butter brand (something he would've baulked at not too long ago) cements his monumental fall from grace.

  • 8. Axl Rose - During Guns' N Roses' peak in the mid-to-late Eighties, Axl Rose was a true rock icon. Sadly, his self-obsession soon kicked into overdrive. On numerous occasions he's treated his fans woefully by turning up late for gigs, throwing tantrums and aborting sets early. Then there's the small matter of Chinese Democracy, an album that's has been delayed so many times we're past caring about it.

  • 7. Ringo Starr - We were originally going to omit the peace-loving Beatles drummer from our list altogether. But then, in 2008 he posted a video on his website abruptly telling his fans not to send him any mail and if they did he would "toss them away", so we duly propelled him to the higher regions of the list. You may have been great once Ringo, but now you're a bit of a twerp.

  • 6. Chad Kroeger - The Nickelback singer is the embodiment of the incredibly insipid yet highly successful rock star. The tunes he sings are as tedious as they are unimaginative, while Mr Kroeger himself has about as much aura and personality as a brick wall.

  • 5. Miley Cyrus - She may only still be 17-years-old, but the pop star has certainly ruffled a few feathers in her short time on this planet. When Gigwise asked a reputable pop journalist to describe the singer, the reply was "Obnoxious, precocious and she sounds like a 40-year-old who has smoked 60 cigarettes a day for life". Nicely put. Don't get us started on that Selena Gomez Youtube video...

  • 4. Michael Bolton - The gravel voiced bastion of vomit-inducing, vacuous soft rock ballads and the man who gave us that horrendous mullet haircut in the late Eighties, Michael Bolton has been responsible for many woes in the music world. Some call him a housewives' favourite, but we say that's a blatant insult to millions of housewives around the globe.

  • 3. Akon- There are countless reasons why Akon is so high up, but we'll narrow it down to a few. First up is the fact that he perennially strips off onstage and hideously simulates sex moves with unsuspecting girls - infamously one victim was under 16. Secondly, the time he aggressively threw a young boy into the crowd, nearly breaking an audience member's neck was totally inexcusable. Annoying is an understatement.

  • 2. Prince - He may well be under five foot tall but Prince's ego is the size of a planet. In his endless quest to be narcissistic, the Purple One even tried to shut down some fan tribute sites in 2007 for using images of his holy self on their website. The bare-faced cheek of his fans, trying to promote their idol!

  • 1. Dappy - In 2009, N Dubz twat in a hat Dappy joined a cyber bullying campaign calling for an end to a harassment. Just a few months later he was sending death threats to a poor woman by text. If that's not annoying, we don't know what is

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