Sometimes you just have to let it all out. Whether on stage, on reality shows or sitting opposite Piers Morgan (the latter a state of affairs that would make the hardiest of us blubber), here are some of the famous musicians who threw caution to the wind and shed tears in public.
Adele, Royal Albert Hall, 2012: Only the hardest of hearts could fail to be moved by the London singer’s heartbreaking ballad ‘Someone Like You’, inspired the messy break-up of an intense relationship. On this occasion, Adele was moved to tears by the crowd singing the chorus back to her.
Pharrell Williams, ‘Oprah Prime’, 2014: If there’s one person who knows how to wring tears from an interviewee, it’s Oprah Winfrey. She showed Pharrell a video of fans around the world dancing to his hit ‘Happy’, which set him off. “It’s overwhelming,” he said. “I love what I do and I appreciate that fact that people have believed in me for so long.”
Perrie Edwards, ‘The Today Show’, 2010: Earlier this year, weeks after splitting from One Direction bad boy Zayn Malik, Perrie Edwards cried during Little Mix’s performance of ‘The End’ in New York. Seems the emotion wounds were yet to heal. That, or she’d heard about him falling out with she’d heard about him falling out with producer Naughty Boy.
Miley Cyrus, iHeartRadio, 2013: Like Perrie Edwards, Miley was singing an emotional song (in this case, ‘Wrecking Ball’) shortly after the end of a relationship (Miley had recently split with the actor Liam Hemsworth), which is a recipe for one thing: tears, and lots of ‘em.
Katy Perry, Radio Teen Awards, 2010: A more jubilant set of waterworks from the ‘Firework’ singer: she cried ‘happy tears’ at Radio Teen Awards in 2010, thanking fans for their continued support. ‘”I’m allowed to be emotional,” she blubbed. “Thank you so much for supporting me in this song because it means so much to me.”
Kanye, Summerfest, 2011: Does Kanye ever grace a stage without some kind of drama? Actually, this time it was genuinely moving, as he broke down in Milwaukee during a rendition of ‘Hey Mama’, taken from his second album ‘Late Registration’ and dedicated to his mother, who tragically died during surgery in 2007.
Justin Bieber, VMAs, 2015: In the midst of a career revival, after years of bad boy antics (like that time he weed in a bucket in a restaurant), the Biebs delivered an impassioned rendition of his actually ace single ‘What Do You Mean’ at the VMA. After flying around the auditorium on a wire, he landed wet-faced.
John Mayer, Sommet Centre, 2010: The singer made some, shall we say, racially insensitive comments to Playboy magazine in 2010 and later apologised onstage in Nashville, crying and saying: “In the quest to be clever I completely forgot about the people that I love and the people that love me.”
Jennifer Lopez, Mohegan Sun Arena, 2011: J-Lo was so overwhelmed while belting out her 1999 song ‘If You Had My Love’ that she exited stage left. The incident, which occurred onstage in Connecticut, was initially reported as a Perrie/Miley type situation, as the singer had recently split with husband Marc Anthony, but she later claimed she was thinking of her children and got choked up.
DMX, ‘Couples Therapy’, 2010: ‘Couples Therapy’ is a reality show ready-made for making celebrities cry, and it was no different when rapper DMX and his estranged wife Tashera Simmons sought counseling to try and mend their relationship. He broke down while talking about his mother, saying: “Not once has she ever told me she loves me.”
Courtney Love, ‘The Barbara Walters Special’, 1995: The American journalist Barbara Walters has long been known for drawing tears from her interviewees. In this encounter, she asked Love why she reenacted Kurt’s suicide onstage. Crying, Love responded: “It’s catharsis… I’m not a clown. I would never dishonour my husband and I don’t think I have.”
Cheryl Cole, ‘Piers Morgan’s Life Stories’, 2010: Cole had recently split from philandering footballer Ashley Cole. Utilising the incisive instinct that has endeared him to millions, Morgan remarked: “I don’t think someone like you would fall in love with a marry a complete idiot. Is that accurate?” Readers, it was accurate, and brought the singer to tears.