Musicians aren’t exactly strangers to the law. From copyright lawsuits and contract breaches to brawls and bad behaviour, it’s not all that uncommon for a rock or pop star to spend a few nights behind bars. What is rare, however, is fans being responsible for landing their idol on the stand. Here are four examples of fans suing their favourite musicians for some simply bizarre reasons.
1. Rod Stewart
The 72-year-old crooner has been a lifelong super fan of Celtic F.C., and has been known to kick a ball into the crowd at his concerts from time to time. However, this seemingly harmless act has left more than one fan worse for wear. In 1990, a Michigan resident was awarded US$17,000 after suing Stewart for kicking a ball the ruptured a tendon in her finger, which she said affected her sex life and led to the ruin of her marriage. Then, in 2012, a Californian man copped a football in the face, fracturing his naval cavity and claiming US$10,000 to fix it.
Back in 2004, the late Prince rented out a mansion belonging to NBA star basketballer Carlos Boozer, and made some serious changes to the place in order to make himself feel at home. These changes included repainting the exterior of the house in purple stripes, installing black carpet in a guest room and purple monogrammed carpet in the master suite. Naturally, Boozer wasn’t thrilled. He sued Prince for over US$25,000, but later dropped the charges after the singer amended the changes. Nevertheless, Boozer remains a fan to this day.
3. Michael Jackson
Three songs from the King of Pop’s posthumous album (Michael)became the focus of a bizarre lawsuit between fan Vera Serova and Sony Music Entertainment. In 2014, Serova became convinced that “Breaking News”, “Monster” and “Keep Your Head Up” were not in fact sung by Jackson, regardless of the credits in the track listings. Serova’s case – a class action which continues to be fought today – cited consumer rights violation – namely that she was misled into purchasing the CD based on the belief all songs would feature the vocals of Jackson.
The Aussie pop star has fans all over the world, but her follower count took a dive after a 2016 performance in Tel Aviv, Israel for a very odd reason – a lack of banter. Angry fans have reportedly filed a class action suit against the “Chandelier” singer, complaining that the set lasted just 65 minutes and there was no stage banter between songs. Concertgoers who were unable to see Sia on stage were also disappointed that the screens on the side of the stage were not showing the performance as it happened, but rather a pre-recorded video of the singer and Kristen Wiig. Tickets for the show cost approximately US$91, so we can see why they’re less than thrilled.