13 Singers Who Totally Forgot Their Own Lyrics
See whether these singers recovered like pros or went down in shame.
We all mess up at work every now and then. Luckily for us, our jobs don’t take place in front of hundreds of people and camera phones. Alas, these celebs don’t have that luxury, so we can see exactly how they react to those occasional brain malfunctions. Scroll on to see whether they recovered like pros or went down in shame.
During her April 2018 concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Pink forgot the lyrics to the second verse of her 2006 single “Who Knew.”
The three-time Grammy winner did not let the mistake faze her, laughing it off and jumping right back into the chorus – much to everyone’s delight. “I forgot the words. S—!” Pink told the crowd.
BBC Radio 1 host Nick Grimshaw challenged Gomez to remember years’ worth of past lyrics and, well, she didn’t exactly rise to the occasion.
“That was 10 years ago, Nick!” she argued about a song she did with Demi Lovato when she was 15. Surprisingly, she had much better recall when it came to a duet she did with Barney way back in her kid show days.
Adele straight up stopped the track when the wrong words came out for “Million Years Ago” at a 2016 Portugal concert. “S—, wrong words. S—, s—, s—. I started singing the words instead of the chorus. Sorry,” she said with a laugh. (Warning: NSFW language in the video)
It wasn’t the first time Adele rebounded from a flub with her trademark infectious laugh. She also had to restart a 2011 performance of “Chasing Pavements” when her mind blanked out.
While kicking off her Joanne World Tour in Vancouver, Gaga seemingly changed the words to her hit “Bad Romance.” Instead of singing “I want your horror / I want your design / cause you’re a criminal / as long as you’re mine,” she sang, “I want your horror / I want your design / I want the psycho / Baby in your mind.”
Only the most observant monsters noticed Mother’s variation and, who knows, maybe it was more of a moment of spontaneous reinvention than a slip-up.
Bieber sparked criticism in May when he forgot and then seemed to mock the words to “Despacito,” his Spanish-language collaboration with Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee.
Surprising a New York City club crowd with a mini concert, the singer repeatedly said “Blah, blah, blah” instead of the actual lyrics. He’s since given up on performing the hit track live, telling a June audience, “I can’t do ‘Despacito.’ I don’t even know it … I don’t know the song. I can’t do it.”
The lyrics were not “Right There” when Grande took the stage in 2013. “I spent 20 hours shooting a music video to this song yesterday, and how do I not know the words right now?” a giggling Grande admitted after going silent mid-verse.
Because the universe loves its irony, Lovato couldn’t remember the lyrics to “Don’t Forget” at a 2009 show in Dallas.
She quickly ‘fessed up to the mishap and asked the audience to help her out.
Sheeran’s performance of “Wake Me Up” got off to a rough start at a 2013 Nashville show.
“I messed up — I’m sorry,” he said. “It sounds a bit cheesy, but I was just thinking how awesome this song was before.”
The vocal wonder stumbled with her “Titanium” lyrics at a 2016 Moscow show, but that didn’t stop her from slaying that melody. “Sticks and stones, I f—ed up the words,” she sang. “Sorry, Moscow.” (Warning: NSFW language in videos)
Sia had another memorable struggle in 2011, when she was equally adorable messing up “Go to Sleep.” “Then I look back and I forget the words, oh f— I forgot the words, I got nothing,” the star improvised in between some mumbling.
“The thing is that I understand that I could probably just finesse it and most people wouldn’t know, but I just think it’s really important to own your own f— ups,” she told the audience after finally finishing the song. “Also, sometimes it’s funny. It depends on the audience.”
Cyrus forgot her “Fly on the Wall” lyrics while appearing on a 2009 episode of the British show Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway.
Just over a minute into the performance, Cyrus turned from the mic and looked around with a smirk as she stopped singing. The pop star energetically got through the rest of the song despite the blunder.
The Coldplay frontman was stumped by “Princess of China” at a Vienna show in June. “Stop, stop, stop, I forgot the words,” he exclaimed shortly after starting the song.
“Please don’t put this on Youtube,” he added, to no avail.
Clarkson invited fans to send in requests during a 2016 Facebook Live, but warned them that it “might royally blow.” Indeed, there was some trouble during the the impromptu show, beginning with “Catch My Breath.”
“I wrote that song, that’s amazing. I’m nervous,” she admitted after asking for some help with lyrics. The struggle bus drove on from there — in completely lovable fashion, obviously.
One Direction covered Wheatus’ “Teenage Dirtbag” in 2013, and Tomlinson was not prepared.
“I just forgot the lyrics. I’m not even going to pretend I know them,” he said.