“Conceal, don’t feel:” a phrase made popular by the fictional Elsa from Frozen but which still applies to our modern day society. Being in public, people are expected to keep control of their emotions. If you show any excess of feeling you’ll cause a scene, particularly if you’re crying. Anyone who has cried in public knows how embarassing it can be: having random strangers watching you, looking uncomfortable, not knowing what to do as you try to control your tears.
Now imagine if instead of just a handful of people who happen to be around, the whole world was watching you cry and judging you. Such is the life of a celebrity; yes, it can be tough. However, sometimes celebrities breaking down and crying in front of their fans can do their reputation some good, as it makes them seem more approachable, more human. The following is a list of 10 celebrities who broke down on TV.
10. Tracy Morgan
After being in a multi-car crash leaving one person killed an two other people in critical condition, Tracy Morgan himself suffered from more than brain trauma, a broken leg and broken ribs; he also suffered from deep emotional pain. “Bones heal, but the loss of my friend will never heal.”
During his appearance on the Today Show, Morgan stated, “I can’t believe I’m here,” and discussed how important his friends and family have been throughout his experience. When asked to discuss the accident, Morgan broke down, and through tears admitted that he couldn’t remember the accident, “only waking up from a coma two weeks later and learning the McNair had died… it’s just so hard for me to see that he’s gone.”
9. Tony Danza
Tony Danza broke down during an interview on The Dr. Oz. Show earlier this year in March. The actor became overwhelmed as he opened up to Dr. Oz about two traumatic experiences in his life. Firstly, he discussed his near-death ski accident in Deer Valley, Utah: he hit a tree, which caused him to suffer from a punctured lung, broken ribs and also broken vertebrae. He was lucky to be alive.
Secondly, he talked about the death of his mother, who passed away only six months before his skiing accident. “I lost my mother in June, it was the first Christmas and I had her in mind… every Christmas you go through this thing where you miss the people who aren’t there anymore.” After crying for more than five minutes, he apologized to the audience and called himself “a bit of a crybaby.”
8. Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga should apparently work on her poker face as she has broken down on TV several times. According to the Daily Mail, in 2011, as she starred as a guest judge on So You Think You Can Dance, she broke down in tears after Marko and Allison’s routine, dancing to “I Know It’s Over” by Jeff Buckley. Through her tears, the fashion guru stated that the performance reminded her that she “regrets some things she did while growing up.” More recently, however, Lady Gaga broke down on TV again during the 2013 YouTube Music Awards. She went on stage singing unusually out-of-tune, due to the fact that she was crying.
7. Britney Spears
It’s not rocket science: breakups are usually quite difficult, even for (arguably even more so for) celebrities. Britney Spears is no exception; when Justin Timberlake broke up with her back in 2002, she was a total mess, breaking down during an interview on ABC. As Diana Sawyer asked, “how it felt to lose Timberlake,” since the two had known each other from the time they were both Disney “Mouseketeers,” Spears began to cry. She became so overwhelmed that she asked her interviewer if they could stop the interview. Not only did she have to deal with the breakup, she also had to bear burden to Timberlake’s public comments on their sex life, his “Cry Me a River” video featuring a Britney Spears look-alike, and the knowledge that he was dating Cameron Diaz.
Britney Spears is not the only celebrity to suffer from a painfully public breakup: Rihanna also had a fair share of crocodile tears. During an interview in 2012 with Oprah, the young celebrity broke down crying as she discussed her breakup with Chris Brown. Through tears she expressed how she was actually concerned for Brown, because “he needs help, everybody’s going to say he’s a monster, without looking at the source.” She also discussed her fear of fame “I am super duper terrified of the pedestal that comes with fame…” She should be, as all Spider-Man fans know, “with great power comes great responsibility.” As a role model for young girls, her relationship with Chris Brown has not only cost her a lot of pain (both physical and emotional) but has also led her to be scrutinized time and time again by the public.
5. Avril Lavigne
Earlier this year in June, Avril Lavigne broke down during an interview with ABC’s Good Morning America, as she discussed her fight with her Lyme disease. She explained the difficulty in getting a proper diagnosis, despite “literally” having seen the best doctors. “They would pull up their computer screen and be like, ‘Chronic fatigue syndrome,’ or ‘are you depressed’?” She suffered for almost two months until she realised she had to see a Lyme specialist. After finally having a proper diagnosis, she was given antibiotics and much sympathy from her adoring fans.
4. Kanye West
A few months ago, in February, Kanye West was interviewed by Zane Lowe for BBC Radio 1. He first began to get emotional as he discussed his projects in the corporate world: he apologized for the high price of his new Adidas collection, saying that “nothing should be exclusive.” However, it was the mentioning of the death of fashion Professor Louise Wilson that brought him to tears. Referring to her as “the greatest fashion instructor of all time,” West continued his interview through tears, saying “that’s never happened to me in an interview before.” He was having such difficulty keeping his emotions under control that he had to take a short break to compose himself.
3. Lindsay Lohan
Lindsay Lohan broke down on air last year in April on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network, as she discussed a leaked list of her celebrity sexual partners. She cried as she stated that releasing the list to the public “was not only humiliating, but just mean.” Lohan later admitted to the authenticity of the list, as she wrote it herself. When questioned as to why she would write such a list in the first place, she admitted that it was “actually my fifth step in AA at Betty Ford.” She continued by saying that, “someone, when I was moving during the OWN show, must have taken a photo of it, so that’s a really personal thing. It’s really unfortunate.”
2. Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber has seen his fair share of ups and downs as well as controversies. On the night of the 2015 MTV VMAs, however, he showed a different, more emotional side of himself. After wowing the audience by performing “Where Are You Now” and “What Do You Mean,” the Canadian pop icon burst into tears, “completely shocked by the applause.” As his fans realized what was going on, they applauded even more. The world got to see a side of the pop brat as they have never seen before and won’t soon forget.
1. Ellen DeGeneres
Ellen DeGeneres broke down on her talk show in October of 2012, over a dog. A pet adoption agency repossessed DeGenere’s Brussels Griffon terrier as she broke a contract by giving the dog away to another family. The pet agency refused to give the dog back to the family and DeGeneres pleaded on TV, “I’m sorry I did the wrong thing, just give the dog back to the family. Please, please, please.”