5 Musicians Who Let Fame Get To Their Heads

Pop music has always had its fair share of ego. Put someone on stage four nights a week, treat them like royalty, and pay them millions of dollars, and just about anyone will develop a superiority complex. But lately, we’ve found it’s never been more prevalent. Famous musicians aren’t simply treated as stars anymore. Rather, their performances (and by extension their lives) are extravagant shrines to their own brilliance. We see this carry over to the way they talk, act toward others, and finally in the art they create.

There are a select few who in this modern age of artist worship are the worst offenders in letting the fame get to their heads. Sometimes it’s necessary to stop and remember that while these people are creating some of favorite forms of entertainment, in the larger scheme of the world there are far more important things than music. More than that though, the people who need to be reminded of this fact are the ones raking in millions for their art.

1. Madonna

Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Jason Merritt/Getty Images

The Queen of Pop has had herself a long, successful career helping revolutionize the game for female singers. There’s no denying her influence and importance, but on occasion it’s pretty clear the fame may go to her head. In one instance, she showed up to a concert in Philadelphia a whopping two and a half hours late. When she finally did take the stage at 12:30 a.m. (she was set to perform at 10 p.m.), it was to a smattering of boos, with many fans having left in frustration earlier on. On that same tour, she waltzed in to a performance in Chilé two hours late once again, and then ended 40 minutes early. It says something about your concern for fans when you can’t be bothered to show up even reasonably on time for a show that typically costs hundreds of dollars to attend.

2. Sean Combs (aka Diddy, P. Diddy, Puff Daddy, and Sean “Puffy” Combs)

Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Clear Channel

Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Clear Channel

Sean Combs is more than a rapper who’s never been able to decide on a name. He’s been in the hip-hop game since its early days, as one of the artists who helped build the scene in New York City. But his wealth, fame, and influence have managed to inflate his ego to some pretty epic proportions. Remember, this is the same man who not only create a fragrance called “I Am King,” but who also advertised said fragrance with one of the largest billboards Time Square has ever featured. Combine this with him referring to his Sean John clothing line as “fashion Viagra,” and it’s pretty clear that heads have inflated over the years.

3. Kanye West

Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

Kanye checks in as the “duh” addition to the list, but it’s important to include him nonetheless. His list of out-of-control ego offenses is perhaps the longest of any, including (but not limited to) storming the stage at the MTV Movie Awards when an award didn’t go to Beyoncé, doubting Beck’s artistry after he won Best Album at the Grammys, and releasing his messianic last album “Yeezus,” in which he included the lyrics “I am a god.” His contributions to hip-hop in his early years have been huge, but his sense of self-importance has escalated to proportions no one could have ever predicted.

4. Jay Z

Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Samsung

Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Samsung

One big red flag for the hip-hop luminary that is Jay Z can be found simply in the title of his last full album, “Magna Carta…Holy Grail.” Whenever you’re claiming your work is on par with one of the most important documents in human history and the cup Jesus Christ himself drank out of, it’s hard to deny the level of ego that exists there. Some may cite a level of irony in the album title, but with rhymes like, “You in the presence of a king / Scratch that, you in the presence of a God,” it comes off as more sincere than tongue-in-cheek. The announcement for his new music streaming service only confirmed this, with Tidal set to be the world’s first platform that offers more value to artists (read: him), than to its customers.

5. Ariana Grande

Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images

Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images

Ariana Grande has seen a fast rise to fame in the pop music industry. That being so, it hasn’t taken long for that to inflate her into full-blown diva status. According to In Touch, Grande regularly demands her staff carry her around so avoid having her feet touching the ground. The stories only get worse from there: She has an assistant on staff that follows her around, waiting to be told “Water!” before scurrying up to help her drink from a straw. On one occasion, she even had a fan who’d won a meet-and-greet contest delete all photos taken because Grande felt she was photographed from her bad side. The “lucky” fans ended up in tears after the experience, taking to Twitter to describe the less-than-stellar affair.

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