Top Ten Most Controversial Music Artists of the 21st Century

You can include ones that were before 2000, as long as they were still active in 2000.
The Top Ten
1 Eminem Eminem, born Marshall Bruce Mathers III, is an American rapper, actor and music producer born on October 17, 1972 in St. Joseph, Missouri. Eminem has sold over 300 million records making him the bestselling hip-hop artist of all time. In addition to his solo career, he is a member of D12 and (with Royce da 5'9") half of the hip-hop duo Bad Meets Evil... read more

Eminem has been the subject of controversy due to offensive and profane lyrics. He addresses this in his song "Without Me".

Anyone who chooses otherwise, Eminem rhymed orange with banana. That's literally all I need to say.

I don't even have to explain this, even though he wasn't that shut down.

2 Marilyn Manson Brian Hugh Warner, better known by his stage name Marilyn Manson, is an American musician, songwriter, actor, painter, multimedia artist, author, and former music journalist.

He's not nearly as scary as I first thought, since I discovered he likes art and poetry. He's the most normal abnormal person around. I mean, his name is BRIAN. Doesn't get more suburban and normal than that, does it?

His creepy appearance, the music videos with nightmarish content, his lyrics, and his onstage behavior made him a pariah of parents all over.

Yes, he's controversial, but probably one of the most in the rock and roll community. The fact he gets blamed for shootings because he sings some rock, when other artists like Eminem talk about taking kids from schools but somehow they aren't blamed. LOVE MANSON!

3 Danielle Cohn
4 Michael Jackson Michael Jackson (Michael Joseph Jackson; August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, dancer, and songwriter. He passed away from cardiac arrest caused by a propofol and benzodiazepine overdose on June 25, 2009. He donated (at least) a remarkable 500,000,000 dollars to charity. Michael is also known as The King of Pop (a title given to him by Elizabeth Taylor) or under the initials MJ... read more

He was accused of molesting children, which made him scrutinized by the media, who called him "Wacko Jacko".

Controversial for child molestation accusations and many other things.

He was never proven guilty of crimes, yet he was still treated like a criminal.

5 Woahvicky
6 Lady Gaga Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, known professionally as Lady Gaga, is an American singer, songwriter, and actress.

On the start of her career, she performed at an event called the Lollapalooza Festival during 2007 whereby a record label company Interscope found her due to her performance being “amusing” to watch. Since Interscope found her, she was a mastermind behind her songs with... read more

Lady Gaga, in the last few days, has almost broken down psychologically. She is condemning the insanity of outrageous, boundary-busting stardom and is trying to become "normal" again. She was a very good supper club jazz singer before her superstardom, but she laments that "class" does not sell these days.

People on the far right accuse her of being Satanic for perceived Illuminati symbolism.

Appreciate how she used controversy to direct more attention towards her. Such a smart move.

7 Madonna Madonna Louise Ciccone, known professionally as Madonna, is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman. She influenced a lot of singers such as: Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna, Beyonce Knowles and Britney Spears. She is known as Queen of Pop and at modern pop culture specifically in 2012 "Madge" or MDNA. She has 14 studio albums (Madonna, Like a Virgin, True Blue, Like a Prayer,... read more

Madonna's sexual performances have made her the subject of controversy. Additionally, her music video for the lead single off of "Like a Prayer" received immense backlash from the Catholic Church.

She loves being controversial in all aspects. Sometimes she has taken it too far.

8 Varg Vikernes Louis Cachet, (born Kristian Vikernes) more popularly known as Varg Vikernes, is a Norwegian musician, writer, and a convicted murderer and arsonist. He is known as the frontman of the one-man band Burzum (named after a word in the Black Speech, which is a fictional language in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings), which is considered one of the most influential bands in black metal history. He's... read more

Varg Vikernes is a notable Satanist and white supremacist. He murdered the guitarist of Mayhem and claimed it was self-defense.

Why is Eminem number 1 and Varg is all the way down here?

9 Ozzy Osbourne John Michael "Ozzy" Osbourne was born on December 3, 1948. He is also known as ''The Prince of Darkness''. Ozzy is an English singer, songwriter, and television personality. He rose to prominence in the early 1970s as the lead vocalist of the band Black Sabbath. Osbourne was fired from Black Sabbath in 1979 and has since had a successful solo career, releasing 11 studio albums.

In the 1980s, his music was accused of being satanic by parents and media. He also urinated on the Alamo and bit the head off of a bat.

10 Chris Brown Christopher Maurice "Chris" Brown (born May 5, 1989) is an American singer, songwriter, dancer and actor. Born in Tappahannock, Virginia, he was involved in his church choir and several local talent shows from a young age. He is most well known for his physical assault towards the singer Rihanna in 2009. He is also known for many hit singles, such as "Kiss Kiss", "Run It!", "Forever", "Deuces", "Look... read more

What do you mean by accused? It actually happened. She had the marks that proved it.

Chris Brown was accused of severely beating his then-wife, Rihanna, in 2009.

Do I have to say anything?

The Contenders
11 Kanye West Ye (born Kanye Omari West; June 8, 1977) is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer and fashion designer. He is regarded as one of the most influential, as well as controversial, artists of the 21st century.

Born in Atlanta and raised in Chicago, West initially gained recognition as a producer for Roc-A-Fella Records in the early 2000s, producing singles for several artists and developing... read more

He has a strange admiration of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis in general. That alone should put him in the top 5 of this list.

Kanye is controversial due to claiming he is a god-like figure, similar to Jesus Christ.

Kanye West has a Messiah complex and interrupted Taylor Swift while she was accepting her award at the VMAs.

12 Britney Spears Britney Jean Spears, born on December 2, 1981, is an American former singer and actress. She was born in McComb, Mississippi, and raised in Kentwood, Louisiana. As a child, she performed acting roles in stage productions and television shows, such as "The Mickey Mouse Club," before signing with Jive Records in 1997... read more
13 Bhad Bhabie Danielle Bregoli, known professionally as Bhad Bhabie, is an American rapper and internet celebrity. She gained fame in 2017 and is known for her songs like "Gucci Flip Flops" and "Geeked Up"

Cash me outside, how about that?

14 XXXTentacion Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy (January 23, 1998 - June 18, 2018), known professionally as XXXTentacion, and often referred to as X, was an American rapper, singer, songwriter, and criminal.

Extremely good artist with a noted history of violence.

Helped so many people through their depression to remind them that they're not alone. LLJ.

An artist with a lot of potential but also highly controversial, even after his death.

15 R. Kelly Robert Sylvester Kelly (born January 8, 1967), known professionally as R. Kelly, is an American singer, songwriter, record producer and convicted sex offender. He has been credited with helping to redefine R&B and hip hop, earning nicknames such as "the King of R&B", "the King of Pop-Soul", and the "Pied Piper of R&B."... read more

In 2002, R. Kelly urinated on an underage girl. In 2019, a damning documentary series revealed he was running a sex cult and holding underage women against their will.

Holy crap, this guy is low on the list. After the stuff he did, he needs to be higher on the list.

Also a rapist!

16 Slipknot Slipknot is an American metal band formed in Des Moines, Iowa in 1996. The band is best known as one of the pioneers of the New Wave of American Alternative Metal during the late 1990s - 2000s and are distinguishable by the band's clothing choices, consisting of black/red jumpsuits and horror inspired masks... read more

The band's image can be scary to some, and a stabbing in South Africa was linked to the band.

17 Miley Cyrus Miley Ray Hemsworth (born Destiny Hope Cyrus), known as Miley Cyrus, is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. She was born on November 23, 1992, in Franklin, Tennessee, to Tish Cyrus and Billy Ray Cyrus. Her voice type is Mezzo-Soprano and has 4 octaves. She became a teen idol starring as the character Miley Stewart in the Disney Channel television series Hannah Montana in 2006. After that... read more

Her BANGERZ era's music videos sparked controversy around the world because she was considered a Disney teen idol. Also the 2013 VMA awards performance.

18 Peer Van Mladen Peer van Mladen (born May 3, 1989 in Belgrade, Republic of Serbia) has more than 8 million dollars in annual revenue and one of the most influential music producers.
19 Tyler, The Creator Tyler Gregory Okonma (born March 6, 1991), better known by his stage name Tyler, The Creator, is an American rapper, record producer, and music video director.

He is well known for his hostile relations with his now deceased father, whom he addresses in multiple songs and albums telling the audience how much he distastes his father.

Tyler has composed seven albums, which are Bastard... read more

I love him, but his old stuff like Goblin and Bastard is a bit much.

In many of his songs, he uses homophobic slurs.

He said he had a threesome with just him and a girl, and now he makes Christmas music.

20 Rihanna Robyn Rihanna Fenty is a Barbadian-American pop singer. Born in Saint Michael and raised in Bridgetown, she first entered the music industry by recording demo tapes under the direction of record producer Evan Rogers in 2003. She ultimately signed a recording contract with Def Jam Recordings after auditioning for its then-president, hip-hop producer and rapper Jay Z.
21 Nicki Minaj Onika Tanya Maraj, known professionally as Nicki Minaj (born December 8, 1982) is a Trinidadian/American rapper / pop music artist. Minaj is most known for her songs such as "Anaconda", "Super Bass", "Starships" and her feature on "Bang Bang".

Despite her controversial songs, Brent Staples from "The New York Times" claimed her to be 'the most influential female rapper of all time', presumably... read more

Seriously, you got people like N.W.A and Michael Jackson, who isn't really '21st century', but you completely miss out on THIS. What even is this? She doesn't even make decent music.

Controversial for being sexual and suggestive in lyrics and music videos.

How is she last place?

22 N.W.A N.W.A was an American hip hop group from Compton, CA. They were among the earliest and most significant popularizers and controversial figures of the gangsta rap subgenre, and are widely considered one of the seminal groups in the history of hip hop music.
23 GG Allin Kevin Michael "GG" Allin (born Jesus Christ Allin; 1956-1993) was an American singer, songwriter and record producer, who performed and recorded with many groups during his career. He was best known for his graphic live performances which included self-mutilation, parading around the stage naked, fighting with members of his audience, and even eating his own feces. He was also known for his vulgar lyrics (which had themes of misogyny, pedophilia, blasphemy, and racism) which polarized listeners and created varied opinions of him. When questioned about his music and shows, Allin often replied that he was trying to make rock music "dangerous" again. ...read more.
24 Daylyt
25 Charles Manson Charles Milles Manson (né Maddox; November 12, 1934 – November 19, 2017) was an American criminal, cult leader, and musician who led the Manson Family, a cult based in California, in the late 1960s. Some of the members committed a series of nine murders at four locations in July and August 1969. In 1971, Manson was convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder for the deaths of seven people, including the film actress Sharon Tate. The prosecution contended that, while Manson never directly ordered the murders, his ideology constituted an overt act of conspiracy. ...read more.
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