The 35 Biggest Music Scandals of All Time

From Madonna to Chris Brown, these are the 35 biggest music scandals and shocking industry moments of all time.

Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake

Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake

Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake

The music industry, populated by outlandish personalities and mercurial performers, is no stranger to scandal. Over the past 50 years, musicians have been at the center of controversies ranging from theft to fraud to murder, and the tabloid media has been there to catalog every misstep. 

There's something oddly satisfying about watching the most successful and glamorous people on Earth make career-defining mistakes. But, as this list proves, the consequences of those mistakes can be troubling, and sometimes even tragic. Without further ado, here are 35 of the Biggest Music Industry Scandals of All Time


Michael Jackson is accused of child abuse

Michael Jackson

Janet Jackson's Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction

Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake

R. Kelly is a pedophile

R. Kelly in court

Chris Brown assaults Rihanna

Rihanna in court

Kanye disses Taylor Swift at the VMAs

Kanye West and Taylor Swift at the VMAs

The Beatles say they're more popular than Jesus

The Beatles

Milli Vanilli didn't sing their own songs

Milli Vanilli

Britney Spears has a breakdown

Britney Spears

Miley Cyrus twerks on Robin Thicke

Robin Thicke performs with Miley Cyrus

Kanye bashes Bush

Mike Myers and Kanye West

Kanye loves Trump

Donald Trump and Kanye West

Marvin Gaye is murdered by his dad

Marvin Gaye

Solange punches Jay-Z in an elevator

Solange and Jay Z

Michael Jackson dangles his kid out a window

Michael Jackson on a balcony

Sinead O'Connor protests the Pope on 'SNL'

Sinead O'Connor on SNL

The deaths of Tupac and Notorious B.I.G.

Tupac and Notorious B.I.G.

Drake doesn't write his own raps

Drake, Meek Mill and a friend

Drake has a secret lovechild


Diddy and J-Lo are arrested after a shooting

Jennifer Lopez and Puff Daddy

Left Eye burns down her boyfriend's house

Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes and Andre Rison

Madonna's "Like a Prayer" video shocks Catholics

Madonna in the 80s

Whitney Houston's marriage to Bobby Brown

Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown

Rick James commits two kidnappings

Rick James

ASAP Rocky is jailed in Sweden

ASAP Rocky leaving Sweden courthouse

Amy Winehouse is filmed using drugs

Amy Winehouse

Ashlee Simpson lip-syncs on 'Saturday Night Live'

Ashlee Simpson

Phil Spector commits a murder

Phil Spector's mugshot

Lou Pearlman stole from everyone

Lou Pearlman with NSYNC

Woodstock '99

Woodstock '99

The Rolling Stones perform at Altamont Speedway

The crowd at the Altamont Speedway

The Dixie Chicks bash Bush

The Dixie Chicks

George Michael is arrested for a “lewd act”

George Michael

Ryan Adams is outed as a monster

Ryan Adams

The Burning Sun

A victim of the Burning Sun scandal

Madonna and Britney kiss at the VMAs

Britney Spears, Madonna, and Christina Aguilera

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