Famous musicians would be nothing without their fans. And because of that, many artists feel extremely protective over their listeners, particularly when it comes to concert settings where large crowds and limited space can make some people feel extra vulnerable.
Sometimes, that defensive parental instinct even applies to scuffles between fans and concert security. In these scenarios, it doesn’t matter whether the guardsmen or women were hired for the artists’ benefit — these singers, rappers and instrumentalists will still choose their fans’ side over their crew’s in a heartbeat. Just ask Adele, who fully put one of her Las Vegas shows on pause just to tell off a couple of venue workers who were harassing one dancing concertgoer. Or, take it up with Taylor Swift, who sacrificed singing the lyrics to one of her biggest hits while performing at her Eras Tour to angrily shout at a security guard.
Everyone from Ariana Grande to Beyoncé, Billie Eilish to Elton John and more have also stuck their necks out for people in attendance at their shows, interactions that make for instantly viral moments on social media and prove just how much these stars love their fans.
There’s no doubt that most security personnel have the best intentions at heart, simply wanting to keep both artists and fans safe. But when one of them appears to cross a line, these musicians are the first to step up and make sure that their supporters are all good.
Keep reading to see nine artists who, at some point in their careers, have called out security for messing with their fans:
Adele completely paused one of her Las Vegas residency shows in 2023 to scold security for hounding one young fan in the front row, who’d been repeatedly asked to stay seated during the performance. “Why are you all bothering him?” the English singer-songwriter demanded, cutting off “Water Under The Bridge” mid-song. “Can you leave him alone, please?”
“They won’t bother you anymore, darling,” she added. “You enjoy the show. Leave him alone.”
The fan later took to social media to thank his idol for coming to his defense, writing alongside a video he took himself of the moment: “Adele thank you so much for this breathtaking night and for standing up for me, so that I could live your concert as it should be.”
Taylor Swift definitely had some “Bad Blood” with a security guard at her Eras Tour stop in Philly. While performing the 1989 single that night, Swift noticed that a worker was getting physical with a group of fans at the barricade, prompting her to interject between song lyrics: “She’s fine! She wasn’t doing anything! Hey! Stop!”
“taylor was yelling at a security guard because they fully kept putting their hands on us to physically push us off of the barricade instead of just telling us to move,” one of the fans Swift rescued later explained on Twitter. “we weren’t throwing anything, we weren’t screaming anything insane, she was fully coming over to dance and sing with us and it resulted in security being extremely aggressive for no reason.”
Beyoncé made sure that one fan got a special present from her, even after one security guard took the first one away. As TikToker Global Valentino tells it, Queen Bey tossed him the sunglasses she was wearing onstage, but another fan caught them at the same time.
Security intervened, and Valentino didn’t get to keep the glasses. Luckily, Bey sees everything. When she came back around later on in the performance, she counteracted the security guard’s actions and tossed Valentino a second pair.
It’s not clear what exactly prompted Billie Eilish to directly call out security at her 2021 Gov Ball performance, but whatever it was, the young pop star was not happy. “Security, why aren’t you paying attention? Like, for real,” she scolded in the middle of singing “Everything I Wanted,” pointing to a disturbance happening amongst the fans in her crowd. “One job!”
There were reports from the event that Eilish was making sure fans got the medical attention they needed. A few seconds later, she checked in with the crowd: “Everybody good? Are you okay?”
Elton John fully cussed out a pair of security guards who got a little too physical with a female fan at his 2019 concert in Perth, Australia. After noticing a scuffle in the audience, the rock star — true to Sir Elton fashion — got very explicit.
“Hey, you two security guards with the girl, f–k off,” he ranted from the stage. “Let her up here immediately. Come on, you c—s. Morons, both of you, morons. You don’t treat girls like that. Leave her alone, you turds!”
Dave Mustaine had some choice words for the overbearing security team at Megadeth’s 2022 Nashville concert. “Hey, mister security dude,” the rocker said, “stop interfering with our show. You don’t need to go up on the f–king barricade and point at people. Everybody’s having fun. Cool it, or I’ll ask for you to be taken out of the pit. Do you understand me? Do we have a f–king understanding here? Don’t do it again.”
Russ was captured defending a female fan from multiple aggressive male security guards at his 2023 Calgary Stampede show. “What are y’all doing?” he shouted. “Yo, yo, that’s a female! What’s wrong with you?”
Later, the rapper explained to his audience: “All I saw was, like, five grown men with one chick doing way too much.”
Ariana Grande came to a fan’s defense at one of her 2017 Dangerous Woman Tour performances, even after that fan had jumped onstage uninvited just seconds before. As security guards quickly tackled and hauled the stage crasher away, the “Thank U, Next” singer yelled, “Hey! Hey, chill out!”
Then, right before jumping back into her song “Moonlight,” she added: “Be careful with him.”
Before his AstroWorld Festival tragedy in 2021, which caused the deaths of ten fans in a fatal crowd crush, Travis Scott made headlines for helping one fan out of a physical altercation with security. It all started when a fan at his 2018 Rolling Loud performance tried to get onstage with Scott’s blessing, after which a guard appeared to shove the fan to the floor.
Scott then pushed security away and helped the fan up. “Security don’t you touch him,” he warned. “Turn the lights on. Hold on. I got you. Don’t do that cop, he’s okay, he’s okay. He’s a part of the show. He’s all right.”