Where: MTV Video Music Awards

When: 2010

will.i.am stirred up some controversy when he performed "Check It Out" with Nicki Minaj at the VMA pre-show in his black gumby costume. Some called it racist, referring to the resemblance to blackface. Following all the backlash, will addressed the outfit, tweeting  "Just because I wear all black including head mask as expression and emphasize my outfit, it shouldn't be looked at as racial." True, not everything should be considered a racist act. It's also true that some artists prefer to wear costumes on stage to further express their creativity, and because it's part of the performance. But it's hard to disagree with the fact that will's black gumby outfit is anything but a fail.