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Top 10 WTF Moments in Heavy Metal

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Things that are usually associated with heavy metal: highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, aggression, the color black. Things that aren't usually associated with heavy metal: country pop stars, fad dances and the ballet. So when some of your favorite metalheads associated themselves with these very things and so much more, then is it any surprise that we're left wondering where the metal's gone?! Join as we count down our picks for the top 10 WTF moments in heavy metal.

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These were so not metal. Welcome to and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 WTF moments in heavy metal.

#10: No Guitar Solos for Metallica

Though fans were shocked when Metallica traded their long locks for shorter ‘dos during the Load era, they felt downright betrayed when the metallers took the softer route to earn themselves mainstream success. To make matters worse, Metallica decided to drop the axe solos for a rawer sound on St. Anger – but seriously now, what’s a metal album without extended guitar pieces?!

#9: Ozzy Osbourne Does Reality TV

Though he’s the Godfather of Heavy Metal and the Prince of Darkness, Ozzy broke much of that spell when he allowed MTV’s cameras to get up-close-and-personal with his family. When he wasn’t spitting out expletives or being incoherent, the former Black Sabbath frontman showed viewers he wasn’t really “all there.” He also admitted to being high throughout the whole show (which obviously explains a few things).

#8: Bruce Dickinson’s Sword Fighting

While flaunting his showmanship in Iron Maiden’s live shows, Bruce Dickinson wowed critics and fans alike with a range that reached practically operatic proportions. However, extensive touring during the early ‘80s forced him to issue an ultimatum: no more dates or he was quitting. Dickinson then spent the next couple of months honing his fencing skills. He also picked up novel writing after the band rejected his material for Somewhere in Time.

#7: Kip Winger’s Thing for Tutus

Though he’s mostly known for his glam metal days in Winger and his subsequent solo work, Kip Winger actually studied ballet as a teen, which ignited his passion for classical music. Though many metalheads are fans of this style, few of them expected him to write material for a ballet. While this may have clashed with his former rockin’ rep, “Ghosts” was a success and even had a second run.

#6: Alice Cooper Becomes a Golf Addict

Inspired by horror imagery, the Godfather of Shock Rock crafted elaborate stage shows and dressed up to match. But like many rock stars before and after him, he also had his demons, including heavy alcohol dependency. He was at his worst when he turned to golfing as a last resort. He’s now got his own golf tournament and has shared the green with pros like Tiger Woods.

#5: Puff Daddy and Jimmy Page Come Together

While Robert Plant received Grammy recognition for collaborating with bluegrass-country singer Alison Krauss, it’s his Led Zep bandmate’s moment with Diddy that’s still got us scratching our heads. Appearing on the “Godzilla” movie soundtrack, Puff Daddy’s version of “Kashmir” is a hip-hop and rap rock number that features orchestral elements and Jimmy Page on guitar. While it charted within the Billboard top 50, it certainly did the original no favors.

#4: Def Leppard Pours Sugar on Taylor Swift

Known for her sweet little girl persona and for writing way too many songs about her ex-boyfriends, Taylor Swift is one of the biggest pop and country stars today. Meanwhile, Def Leppard was one of the 1980s’ hardest rockers. When the two artists teamed up onscreen to sing each other’s songs for “CMT Crossroads” in 2008, it had many of us thinking they “should’ve said no.”

#3: Pat Boone’s In a Metal Mood

This old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roller has had almost 40 top 40 hits on the pop charts. So when Pat Boone took on some hard rock and heavy tunes in a swing and jazz-influenced style, many were shocked and others offended. The fact that he also donned black leather didn’t help matters – it even got him briefly kicked off a Gospel-themed TV show.

#2: Vince Neil Dances Like a Chicken

Two years after the Mötley Crüe frontman was one of the celebrity has-beens on “The Surreal Life,” Vince Neil embarrassed himself and fans of the world’s most notorious rock band at the Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati. As Grand Marshall of the World’s Largest Chicken Dance, he took to the stage to show Cincinnati residents how to cluck like a hen, flap your wings and wiggle your tail feathers. Need we say more?

#1: Jethro Tull Makes Grammy History

In order to capitalize on the genres’ popularity, the Grammys recognized the past year’s best hard rock and metal performance for the first time in 1989. But when prog rockers Jethro Tull won the trophy for Crest of Knave beating out frontrunner and one of thrash metal’s Big Four Metallica in the process – metal fans and music critics were enraged. Not only did few people think the band was on par with the other nominees; many also felt they didn’t fit in hard rock OR metal.

Do you agree with our list? What do you think is the least heavy metal moment in history? Be sure to subscribe to for more entertaining top 10s.

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