While Adam Levine is one of the most talented human beings on the planet, with numerous award-winning songs and albums — both solo and with his band Maroon 5 — it’s no surprise that he has had a few controversial moments throughout his career that have rubbed people the wrong way. After all, who can forget Maroon 5’s lackluster 2019 Super Bowl half-time performance after Cardi B and Rihanna declined to perform in support of Colin Kaepernick and the necessary race conversation surrounding his “take a knee” protest? Levine and the band went on to deliver an unimpressive set and gave no acknowledgement to Kaepernick during or after the performance, which was quickly noted by viewers and news outlets.
There’s also his notorious 2017 diss toward the MTV Video Music Awards in support of singer Julia Michaels after her debut performance was cut off during the broadcast. At the time, Levine tweeted, “It’s always exciting to see how utterly horrible the VMAs will be.” Of course, this came after his 2011 tweet toward the awards show, where he wrote, “the VMAs. One day a year when MTV pretends to still care about music. I’m drawing a line in the sand. F**k you VMAs.” Yikes.
Famously, his former co-judge on The Voice Christina Aguilera also had a well known beef with the male artist. Keep scrolling for the details on how the tiff went down (in public, no less)!
Adam Levine used a contestant to antagonize Christina Aguilera
During the 2012 season of The Voice, Adam Levine used a contestant to poke fun at fellow judge Christina Aguilera. The contestant, Tony Lucca, knew Aguilera from their teeny bopper days in the Mickey Mouse Club, but the “Genie in a Bottle” singer did not recall Lucca. During the season, Levine had Lucca perform Jay-Z’s “99 Problems,” which was allegedly as a direct diss to Aguilera.
For those who don’t know the song, in the chorus Jay-Z raps, “If you’re having girl problems I feel bad for you son/I got ninety-nine problems but a b***h ain’t one.” Of course, Aguilera, who identifies as a feminist, found the performance in poor taste, as noted during the episode, “Your beautiful wife and your daughter and family are here tonight, and I just thought the lyrical connotation was a little derogatory towards women.”
Levine went on to brush off her critique — although she did point out Lucca “sounded great” and it was “all in all, great fun” — and even quipped, “It’s called a metaphor.” A source told Radar Online at the time, “Adam and Tony wanted to call Christina out as a b***h but make it clear she’s not a problem for Tony. It was completely aimed at her. It was Adam’s idea, but Tony absolutely loved it. Christina thought it was ridiculous. She was highly offended.” Additionally, the Maroon 5 member also wore a “Team Xtina” t-shirt during the performance. Just, wow.
Allthough Adam Levine bullied Christina Aguilera behind the scenes…
Adam Levine’s attacks towards Christina Aguilera did not stop in front of camera. In fact, behind the scenes, they were much worse. According to a source (per Radar Online), Levine told Aguilera “You’re a c**t!” directly to her face. The source continued, “Obviously Christina was appalled and hissed that Adam should be fired. She’s sick of being treated this way. Christina is so sick of Adam being looked at as the golden boy of the show. If America knew how disgusting he was, they would be appalled, she always says, ‘He was being incredibly immature.'”
Another source revealed that the beef was never-ending. “Adam is making it more about getting at Christina this season and he’s very good at getting under her skin,” the source noted. “He comes off as a really great guy, but he’s very smart the way he takes jabs at Christina. Adam’s very subtle and doesn’t use words, just sneaky actions. She is sick of the way she’s being treated and she’s disgusted with Adam.”
So how did the ’90s pop star respond to the attacks? In her own special way, of course.
…Christina Aguilera wasn't completely innocent either
While Adam Levine was not a boy scout towards Christina Aguilera, the Grammy award-winner was not exactly the model of perfection, either. According to a 2012 Rolling Stone interview, Aguilera immediately “leaned into her role as antagonist on this season of The Voice.” Apparently she called the Maroon 5 lead singer a “wannabe JT” — and it did not stop there. In 2015, a source revealed to Radar Online that the singer was “a terror to work with.”
“She is frequently late and she doesn’t even seem to care or apologize for holding up the filming of the show,” the source explained. “To make matters worse, she is constantly fighting with Adam [Levine]. They cannot stand each other.” Rumor has it, the production crew actually preferred Levine to Aguilera. “When things get heated — on and off set — the people in makeup have been told to go to Christina and work on her so she doesn’t start complaining or yelling,” a source told Hollywood Life in 2012. “If she starts carrying on and making a scene [with the other coaches], the people in makeup act like a pit crew and rush to her to keep her quiet.”
So how did the feud end? Like a sibling squabble, of course
Of course, not everything is what is seems. While the beef between Adam Levine and Christina Aguilera looked intense during their Voice reign, Levine insisted it was not too serious. When asked if the two had hooked up (since the feud seemed so unwarranted) during a June 2011 interview with Rolling Stone, the frontman explained, “I just met her a couple of days before we started shooting! I don’t know where it comes from.”
He continued, “We just bicker like brother and sister, and part of it is fabricated by the television gods. But she’s great. I respect the s**t out of her. She’s going through a tough time, and God bless her. This show is great for her. But if she busts my balls, I’ll bust hers.”
As for the “Beautiful” singer, Aguilera never spoke on the beef directly, but she did say she respected Levine for leaving The Voice in 2019. According to Just Jared, the mother of two said, “I think there’s always a time and a place, especially as an artist, getting back into your creative mode and out of that environment is important. I gained some respect with that decision. I think it’s good to follow your heart over dollars sometimes.” We guess that’s a positive ending.
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