Adam Levine is no stranger to the conversation surrounding his alleged douchery.
He’s often even embraced it and, like many jerks before him, repeatedly tried to gaslight the public into loving him anyway. “You’re a lead singer of a hot band,” Cosmopolitan frankly asked the Maroon 5 frontman in 2009. “Does that automatically make you cocky?” “A little,” the singer responded. “But in a playful, not arrogant way.”
In an interview with Zane Lowe this morning, the singer — who has said in previous interviews that “no one knows how planes actually work” and that he “spends most of his life naked ” — told the legendary radio host, among other things, that “there aren’t any bands anymore.”
“That’s the thing that makes me kind of sad, is that there were just bands,” he said, apparently yearning for the days of skinny jeans and Club Penguin. “There’s no [sic] bands anymore, and I feel like they’re a dying breed. And so I kind of, in a weird way, as far as…I mean, there are still plenty of bands, and maybe they’re not in the limelight quite as much, or in the pop limelight, but I wish there could be more of those around.” Is he right? Does the expansive success of Haim or The Foo Fighters’ latest album cycle not count?
While even an entire article can’t possibly cover every single vapid statement Levine has ever made, there are a few highlights that stand above the rest. Here are the douchiest things Adam Levine has ever said, as we add this latest Zane Lowe interview to the mix.
The Obnoxious Concert In Chile
Sporting an insufferable mohawk, Levine was heavily criticized for sporting low energy and a bratty attitude at a show last year at Chile’s Vina del Mar International Song Festival. “Well, if you want to do my job, go ahead” he said at one point, heckling the audience as they sang along to “She Will Be Loved.” “That was a TV show. Not a concert,” Levine was heard saying backstage after the lackluster 15-song performance.
Fully aware of the civil unrest in the country, Levine and his band were late to the show, and Levine had asked that “no one look him in the face” prior to the performance. The blowback forced Levine to release a 2-minute statement, in which he claimed technical difficulties were responsible for his insipid and detached demeanor. “Performing I take so seriously,” he said with a slight smirk. “There were some things holding me back sonically last night.”
The 2009 Cosmo Interview
Adam Levine 2009
In one of Levine’s most legendary interviews, the singer really leaned into his obnoxiousness during a 2009 profile with Cosmpolitan. “Why do guys cheat?” the interviewer asks at one point. “Instinctively, monogamy is not in our genetic makeup,” Levine replied.
“People cheat. I have cheated. And you know what? There is nothing worse than the feeling of doing it.” Elsewhere, Levine said his best feature was that he was able to “detach himself.” “It’s also my worst feature,” he said. “I let myself off the hook to the point where it’s a bad thing. People are hard on themselves. I’m not.”
His Feelings Towards Yoga
In a now heavily circulated interview with Details Magazine in 2012, Levine offered a plethora of callous and obnoxious quotes to choose from. “I was the music dude that was naked all the time with the girls, and that’s fine, no problem with that,” he said at one point. But the most inflammatory quote came when Levine spoke on Yoga.
The article read: “‘You know what yoga’s good for?’ Adam Levine asks, pausing in mid-thought as he discusses his healthful lifestyle. He draws to his feet, balances in the private jet’s narrow aisle, points to his crotch and thrusts his pelvis like a porn star. ‘I’ll tell you what yoga is good for: f****ing.'”
The Voice Controversy
Back in 2018, when Levine was a regular judge on the hit NBC show The Voice, Levine faced some serious blowback after he threw a member of his team under the bus. Two of his contestants, 22-year-old DeAndre Nico and 14-year-old Reagan Strange, were in the bottom two leading into the show’s season finale. Both had been given the opportunity to perform one more song and stave off elimination, but Strange was too sick to perform. “This sucks, man,” Levine said on live TV. “DeAndre, you’re an exquisite singer. I’m a little confused as to why you’re in the bottom. That perplexes me. But I want to say this.” At this moment, he paused, making DeAndre visibly uncomfortable.
“There is an unbelievably talented little girl right now who is not able to fight for her position on this show. And you were fortunate enough tonight to be able to sing. And man, you sang like a champ.” He went on to actively encourage viewers to vote for Strange and said he had “a very special relationship with her.”
Well, the audience heard Levine’s cries loud and clear and ended up voting Reagan forward and eliminating DeAndre. Fans were furious. It didn’t help, either, that DeAndre was Black and Reagan was white. Levine was eventually forced to release a statement, and in it called DeAndre “his boy” and said that they talked and that it was “all good.” Whether DeAndre actually agreed has yet to be seen.
The GQ Profile
Adam Levine GQ
Levine had been accused of being a douchebag so many times that in 2014 he encouraged GQ to dedicate an entire profile to exploring the idea. “Okay. Let’s get into this: What are the characteristics of a douchebag?” he said in the article’s opening line while eating an egg white omelet and sipping a green smoothie. From there, the article traverses Adam Levine’s off-putting behavior with relative bias. The interviewer pointed towards a few instances of Levine’s past transgressions, like when he said he slept with a lot of women because “he loved them so much.”
“There was a time in my life when I lived probably a bit more on the primal level. And it was amazing,” Levine rebutted. “I didn’t say it like that, I didn’t say it like Fabio.” He went on to explain that men are dumber than women and that he asked himself the hard questions on his 35th birthday. “Am I gonna be a kid for twenty more years? Or am I gonna be a grown up?” he said. In the end, it remained unclear whether Levine was actually aware of his toxic affectations.
The 2019 SuperBowl Halftime Show
Adam Levine SuperBowl
We all can vividly recall how horrendous the 2019 Super Bowl Halftime show was. Maroon 5’s nomination controversy was well-placed, with Levine and co. accused of blatantly ignoring the racial undertones that hovered over the performance slot. Rihanna, Jay-Z, and Cardi B had all previously refused the invitation and instead stood in solidarity with quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who had been removed from the NFL as a result of kneeling during the national anthem.
The Super Bowl was set to take place in Atlanta, no less, a booming musical and culture hub for Black art. Levine, on the other hand, accepted the invitation without hesitation. “We’re gonna keep doing what we’re doing, hopefully without becoming politicians,” he told Entertainment Tonight. Kaepernick’s attorney went on Good Morning America and called the response cowardly.
What resulted was what everyone expected, a tasteless spectacle brimming with toxic braggadocio and white male machismo. Big Boi and Travis Scott’s fleeting appearances couldn’t save the milquetoast performance from being utterly devoid of political awareness or even the slightest bit of mutual respect. Then, Levine decided to take his shirt off.