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"Change Your Name To A Symbol" & Other Dumb Ways To Derail Your Music Career

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Screw Up on National Television: For many artists, an appearance on Saturday Night Live is a mark of achievement. For Ashlee Simpson, it was an epic failure. As the vocal track to her earlier performance of "Pieces of Me" rang through the studio for a second time, Simpson reacted with a painfully strange Irish jig-type dance she would later describe as a "hoedown" before running offstage seconds later.

The singer further complicated matters by blaming her band at the end of episode and later chalking the matter up to severe acid reflux disease resulting in the loss of her voice. The damage to her career was most apparent following an off-key halftime performance at the 2005 Orange Bowl that was met with boos from the crowd of 72,000 and an online petition requesting she be banned from performing music forever.

See Also: Janet Jackson's Super Bowl super-boob, Christina Aguilera's... "unique" version of the national anthem.

Toss Religion Into the Mix: John Lennon's infamous quote as it was originally printed in the March 4, 1966 issue of the London Evening Standard went largely unnoticed, seen more as commentary on the waning influence of Christianity in modern society than the popularity of The Beatles

Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue with that; I'm right and I will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first - rock 'n' roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me.

It wasn't until five months later that the highlighted central portion above appeared out of context on the cover of an American teen magazine, inciting a full-scale rebellion that included death threats, radio bans, Ku Klux Klan organized protests, and widespread concert cancellations.

See Also: Sinead O' Conner vs. the Pope on SNL, Kanye West's thorny-crowned Rolling Stone cover.


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Lauren Marmaduke
Contact: Lauren Marmaduke