Who were the most hated acts of each decade?

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Who were the most hated acts of each decade?

Creed in 2002.
Words by Saskia Morrison-Thiagu

Who was the Nickelback of the world before Nickelback?

Many akin Nickelback to being the poster child for post-grunge generic dribble. Even primary school children knew that the metal-influenced ‘rock’ band were a bit of a joke, with Nickelback fans experiencing incessant ridicule in the schoolyard. However, they weren’t the first band to be the subject of playground bullying. Many bands and musicians spanning generations have become widely hated for their music or because of the individual musicians themselves.

So here are some of the most hated bands and musicians throughout the decades.

The ’60s

Arguably the first band that garnered a lot of negative attention for their drivel music in the ’60s were The Monkees. The Monkees started out as a TV show riding on the coattails of The Beatles and then quickly shot to fame becoming a legitimate band. People hated the Monkees for that very reason. Before One Direction, Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC, The Monkees were one of the first-ever ‘manufactured’ boy bands.

In true Simpsons fashion, they sum up the general consensus the world had of the band at the time: “Ew, you like the Monkees?


The ’70s

The Ramones are often revered today as champions of punk-rock music. However, at the time they were largely criticised because of their three-chord tracks and were closely compared with punk predecessors the New York Dolls. Most American radio stations refused to play them, with one review describing the Ramones as “the sound of 10,000 toilets flushing”.

In their defence, they’ve really stood the test of time. A good indicator of how commercialised a band is is whether they sell a lot of merch at department stores like Target. At any given point, you could walk down the street and know you’d see at least one Gen X-er in a $20 Ramone’s t-shirt.

Some honourable mentions include: Paul Anka for his sexist hit ‘You’re Having My Baby’.

The ’80s

When Irish powerhouse U2 came onto the scene, they were loved by critics and fans alike. However, when a band stays on the scene for so long, they run the risk of becoming dull and annoying. In U2’s case, this was because of Bono. Bono, unlike his name, doesn’t like to work pro-bono. In fact, he’ll do anything to make more money, even commit tax avoidance. Maybe that’s why he decided to waste a lot of money to partner with Apple Music and put that terrible EP, Songs of Innocence, on everyone’s iTunes without their consent. They really Blew-2 it with that one.

Honourable mentions include: Spandau Ballet for single-handedly carrying the entire Smooth FM radio station and Michael Bolton for simply existing.


The ’90s

Before Nickelback there was Creed. No, I don’t mean the character from Rocky. I mean the ultra-religious rock group Creed. They even won the Rolling Stone readers’ poll for the worst band of the ’90s, so there’s no denying they were loathed internationally. They were so hated that even their fans sued them for $2 million after frontman Scott Stapp was apparently intoxicated on stage at a concert in Chicago in 2002.

Honourable mentions include: Kid Rock, New Kids On The Block for being a poor man’s Backstreet Boys and Hanson for also being a poor man’s Backstreet Boys.


The 2000s

Apart from Nickelback, there were a lot of bands and musicians in the ’00s that were widely hated — and not just by Pitchfork. Many (namely your dad) label this post-grunge era as being the end of ‘good’ rock music.

Similarly to U2, Coldplay were a band that started off strong — but due to their personality (or lack thereof), they attracted a lot of hate from the public. Despite making millions collectively, I honestly couldn’t tell the other band members from a bar of soap. One of the main reasons why can’t stand frontman Chris Martin is because of his relationship with Goop empress Gwenyth Paltrow. The “consciously uncoupled” pairing were probably the most annoying couple in Hollywood. It also didn’t help that they named their child Apple.

Aside from Chris Martin, the band have also been criticised for their recent music and one too many collabs that no one asked for. Their most recent album, A Head Full of Clouds, was criticised for being “liable to induce altitude sickness”.

Honourable Mentions include: Metro Station for giving the worst Cyrus, Trace Cyrus, a platform. Runners up also include Crazy Frog and Chris Brown.


The 2010s

With the advent of social media and the rise of the humble troll, many musicians today attract criticism. However, some artists have become so hated that it’s become a national agenda. Would you belieb it, Justin Bieber is one of them.

The Biebs became an international sensation seemingly overnight thanks to YouTube and Usher. ‘Bieber Fever’ was real and created a worldwide pandemic. Most of Bieber’s haters came from teenage boys, most likely due to the fact most girls would have rather kissed their Justin Bieber poster over them.

Honourable Mentions include: Taylor Swift for giving off big horse girl energy and making everything she touches become cringe. Pitbull, or Mr 305, because he never takes those fucking sunglasses off and Imagine Dragons for forcing us to listen to ‘On Top of the World’ on every TV ad ever.