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Cringe Careers: The 2012 Music Trainwreck Awards

By Halley Bondy
December 20, 2012

  1. Cringe Careers: The 2012 Music Trainwreck Awards
  2. #8
    Good Girl Gone Cliché Trainwreck: Miley Cyrus
  3. #7
    No-Talent, Low-Grossing Trainwreck: Kreayshawn
  4. #6
    Bratty Trainwreck: Azealia Banks
  5. #5
    Wannabe Trainwreck: Ke$ha
  6. #4
    Is He a Trainwreck? Trainwreck: Riff Raff
  7. #3
    Yoko-Style Trainwreck: Kanye West
  8. #2
    Righteous Asshole Trainwreck : Deadmau5
  9. #1
    Calculated Trainwreck: Rihanna
  • Cringe Careers: The 2012 Music Trainwreck Awards
    Let's all admit that we are a sadistic public. Watching celebrities act like idiots is one of life's finest of pleasures. But there's more to career trainwreckery than sad tales of drug abuse and assault charges. Trainwrecks come in all shapes and sizes, and in 2012, we found that celebrity descent was particularly prominent -- and in some cases, totally deliberate.

    With no further ado, our 2012 Trainwreck Awards go to.... Let's start with #8 Good Girl Gone Cliché Trainwreck: Miley Cyrus
  • #8 Good Girl Gone Cliché Trainwreck: Miley Cyrus
    With Miley, it's a bit of a trainwreck "chicken and the egg" quandary. Did she smoke salvia, chop off her hair and THEN her management threw on the bad girl, crotch-grabbing, stripper butt-feeling cliche direction? OR was it all the management's idea to begin with (<--more likely option)? Either way, we can all admit this child will never be actually badass, and these attempts are so cringe-worthy that we're excited to pack it in for the apocalypse tomorrow. Next #7 No-Talent, Low-Grossing Trainwreck: Kreayshawn
  • #7 No-Talent, Low-Grossing Trainwreck: Kreayshawn
    Poor Kreayshawn. She's like the Rebecca Black of white girl hip-hop -- only some indie blogs actually attempted to legitimize her for awhile. In the end, however, the market spoke, and Kreayshawn achieved one of the lowest-grossing debut albums to ever come out on a major label. Don't let the door hit you on the way to your next poorly-chosen career, girl. Next #6 Bratty Trainwreck: Azealia Banks
  • #6 Bratty Trainwreck: Azealia Banks
    Within just a few weeks of mega YouTube-induced fame, Interscope signee and fiery sexbomb MC Azealia Banks was beefing with half of the universe on Twitter. Sure, Jim Jones, Kreayshawn and Iggy Azalea may deserve a kick in the ass once in awhile, but it hasn't been a good look for the young newcomer, who, in trying to find her footing in the industry, has acted pretty damn bratty and divisive in public -- worse than Nicki Minaj, who has at least gone Platinum already. We'll see what 2013 brings for Azealia, but the world is holding out for another glimpse of that scrappy, smiling, dirty-mouthed kid from the "212" video. Next #5 Wannabe Trainwreck: Ke$ha
  • #5 Wannabe Trainwreck: Ke$ha
    2012 marked another year in trying to make the drunken, gold-toothed, over-Autotuned "ewww, gross" thing happen with Ke$ha. How long must it go on before we admit that she actually has baseline talent (in songwriting no less!)?

    Already kicking off 2013 with controversy after she deflected blame for releasing the song "Die Young" so close to the Sandy Hook shooting, it looks like we're in for another year of manufactured nausea. Next #4 Is He a Trainwreck? Trainwreck: Riff Raff
  • #4 Is He a Trainwreck? Trainwreck: Riff Raff
    Much scholarly writing has been devoted to Houston MC Riff Raff this year, particularly on whether or not he's really a buffoon, really a genius in disguise, really from the ghetto, really an MC, really this, really that. The fact that he is a freestyle mastermind notwithstanding, the media is basically Die Antwoord-ing this guy into irrelevance. But we'll always have his grills and "pigglywigglies". Next #3 Yoko-Style Trainwreck: Kanye West
  • #3 Yoko-Style Trainwreck: Kanye West
    Love makes the world go 'round, but it's grinding Kanye West's career to a halt. The New York Daily News made a pretty good argument that Kanye's relationship with Kim Kardashian is cheapening his brand. The once notoriously egotystical, yet artistically principled visionary Kanye West is now all over the tabloids with his busty, social-climbing Kim. He's appearing on the uniquely terrible reality show Keeping Up with the Kardashians all the time, and associating with the inanities of the Kardashian household. Not much can destroy Kanye, but maybe 2013 will see him stoop to John & Yoko trainwreck levels. Hey, not everyone can date Beyoncé! Next #2 Righteous Asshole Trainwreck : Deadmau5
  • #2 Righteous Asshole Trainwreck : Deadmau5
    Not everyone knows that the mouse-headed juggernaut producer Joel Thomas Zimmerman, aka Deadmau5, is a raging asshat sometimes. He has a habit of fighting with other artists, including beloved, untouchable mega-legends. Having issues with drug culture is one thing, but cursing out Madonna in a manner that makes you sound like you've been hopped up on meth all night doesn't really help your case, nor does calling out Rusko to security for smoking weed backstage, or physically fighting with Felix da Housecat over your rider cheese. When you've helped build an empire of ecstasy-addled fratboys who give you their money every day, you're part of the problem. Hopefully Deadmau5 will start a non-profit or something in 2013, instead of solving the world's issues with more dumb, explosive behavior...or maybe fiancee Kat Von D will keep him in check. Next #1 Calculated Trainwreck: Rihanna
  • #1 Calculated Trainwreck: Rihanna
    Rihanna's image has changed drastically with every album. Few remember her early LP A Girl Like Me, when she was being marketed as an introspective, old-school R&B and reggae singer with comparative qualities to Beyonce, but with a Caribbean vibe. That's because several hairdos, domestic violence calls, Western pop makeovers and media stunts later, she's pretty much unrecognizable.

    Rihanna reached a zenith of trainwreckery this year with the help of the Rihannaplane fiasco. Holding journalists captive so they could tweet 24-7 about her chaotic, drunk, lipsynching self had to be a deliberate life-imitating-art move by her brilliant management, demolishing any shred of Rihanna's original image of innocence. It only gets grosser from here! More Lists