Pop & Circumstance: Gavin DeGraw and a history of pop star violenceBy Allison Berger | August 11th, 2011 | 3 comments
Violence is never the answer, unless the question is “What’s one thing that musicians don’t sign up for when rising to the top of pop star fame and fortune?” Paparazzi, yes. Hordes of fans, sure. Stalkers, sometimes. But violence? I’m not sure anyone expects to be beaten in the light of a top 10 single.
Pop singer-songwriter Gavid DeGraw was attacked by a group of men and then struck by a cab this past Monday night in New York’s East Village. The attack happened at 4 a.m., right in front of the National Underground, a bar DeGraw owns with his brother. The damage? A broken nose, concussion and lacerations on his face. Ouch. Look, we know DeGraw’s “I Don’t Want to Be” can get a little grating while watching “One Tree Hill” marathons, but what could anyone possibly hold against the guy? Police say the two men had no idea he was a multi-platinum singer and did not attempt to rob him.
Unfortunately, neither low-profile or top-notch pop stars are safe from harm. Whether it’s rabid fans, rabid dogs or policemen in disguise, here are a few other singers who have gotten maimed in recent years.
This past June, Justin Bieber was knocked to the ground outside Macy’s in midtown Manhattan while promoting his new fragrance, “Someday.” The man who attacked Biebs was actually a plain clothes cop who was trying to help protect him from over-eager fans, but Biebs’ bodyguard mistook him for an eviloer and they duked it out. No one was hurt, and Bieber went on with his meet-and-greet. The boy can do no wrong.
Warning: Do not watch if you’re adverse to little girls screaming for two minutes straight.
In August 2010, pop-punk band Sum 41 was forced to cancel Warped Tour dates after frontman/Avril Lavigne’s ex-husband Deryck Whibley was attacked by three people in a Japanese bar. The incident, reportedly unprovoked, worsened Whibley’s previous slipped disk injury and had him hospitalized. A week later, TMZ shared video of Whibley still limping from the attack.
Human beings aren’t the only ones who can cause injuries. In May of last year, singer-songwriter Vanessa Carlton was bitten by a pitbull in Pennsylvania while jogging a thousand miles (we kid, we kid). The dog chomped on her leg and while the bite was not infected, Carlton told the dog’s owner that she wanted the dog put down.
Remember Cheyenne Kimball? The pop singer had her own reality show on MTV a-la Ashlee Simpson back in 2006. She was reportedly assaulted at a wrap party for her show after a bandmember’s jealous wife went nutso when she saw Kimball chatting with her husband. Apparently she didn’t like seeing the two talking and punched Kimball in the face- Kimball’s mother had the woman thrown out of the West Hollywood club immediately. The poor girl was only 16 at the time, and hasn’t put out a record since.
Celebrity or Average Joe, it’s wildly important to be street smart. Keep your eyes peeled and your face guarded, and be thankful that you don’t have millions of teenage girls trying to kiss your feet. Or a pitbull trying to eat your leg.
Allison Berger is a Philadelphia-based writer and a pop music columnist for Reverb. Check out more of her writing here.