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When John Lennon told the Evening Standard that The Beatles had become "more popular than Jesus" in 1966, there was remarkably little fuss; it wasn't until four months later, when the quotes were reprinted in the American magazine Datebook, that they sparked outrage. Records were burned, death threats were made, and the band quickly found themselves at the centre of a furious publicity storm. Lennon eventually apologised, but the backlash played a significant part in them deciding to stop touring and become a studio-only band.

Lennon may have been one of the first musicians to cause an almighty media ruckus in an interview, but he's certainly not the only one - here are six other pop stars who sparked controversy by speaking, rather than singing, on the record.

Morrissey and Der Spiegel

[WATCH] BBC Radio 6 Music - Morrissey at 6 Music Live in 30 Seconds

In 2012, Morrissey received a public apology from NME, five years after he'd accused them of publishing an article which he said "deliberately twisted" his comments on immigration. Since then, his interviews have continued to cause uproar. Last year, German publication Der Spiegel published a piece in which, as BBC News reported, the former Smiths singer calls the decision to replace Kevin Spacey, accused of sexual assault, in an upcoming film with another actor "absurd", and that actor Anthony Rapp's claim that Spacey made a sexual advance towards him when he was 14 "doesn't quite ring true". He also said: "Anyone who ever said 'I like you' to someone else is suddenly being charged with sexual harassment."

Morrissey claimed he'd been misquoted, pledged never to speak to the print media again and called upon Der Spiegel to publish audio from the interview - which it duly did, insisting it "stands behind its reporting".

Madonna and David Letterman

Madonna's knack for scandalising the masses is the stuff of legend - her 1989 video for Like a Prayer caused such a hullabaloo that she ended up being condemned by both a soft drinks company and Pope John Paul II. In 1994, she stopped by the Late Show with David Letterman, and treated viewers to one of the strangest appearances on US television. She entered holding a pair of pants and repeatedly insisted that Letterman smell them; she also responded to questions about her personal life with racy double entendres, claimed Letterman had "gone soft", asked if he was wearing a wig (and, later, if he smoked marijuana) and, most notably, used the f-word a total of 14 times - which made it the most-censored episode of a talk show in the history of US network TV.

Quincy Jones and Vulture

[LISTEN] BBC Radio Scotland - Quincy Jones: The Jazz House Pocket Legend

The Beatles were the worst musicians in the world

David Marchese's In Conversation series for Vulture is always a delight (see his brilliant, bizarre interview with The Strokes' Julian Casablancas for proof). Just as strange and spectacular was last year's encounter with Quincy Jones, in which the producer served up an endless stream of eyebrow-raising quotes. Jones claimed, among other things, that he knew who assassinated John F. Kennedy; that The Beatles were "the worst musicians in the world"; that he once dated Ivanka Trump ("She had the most beautiful legs I ever saw in my life"); and that his frequent collaborator Michael Jackson was "greedy" and as "Machiavellian as they come".

The quotes, coupled with others he made in an interview with GQ, garnered so much attention that his daughters staged a "family intervention", urging him to show more restraint in the future and persuading him to issue a public apology: "Even at 85, 'wordvomit' & bad-mouthing is inexcusable."

The Beatles were the worst musicians in the world

Lana Del Rey and the Guardian

[WATCH] BBC Radio 1 - Lana Del Rey 's Big Weekend 2017 highlights

Lana Del Rey took issue with the Guardian in 2014, when she claimed they asked her "leading questions about death and persona". Those questions - inspired by the fact that many of Del Rey's musical heroes, including Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse, had died young - had inspired her to declare: "I wish I was dead already."

Cobain's daughter, Frances Bean, was among those who felt her quotes romanticised rock 'n' roll self-destruction, which prompted Del Rey to further distance herself from the comments ("I don't find that part of music glam either," she insisted). Del Rey also said that she'd been reluctant to speak to the Guardian's journalist, Tim Jonze, at all - claims that he refuted. "She may well have not wanted to do the interview but it certainly didn't seem like it - she was delightful company for the 70 minutes we spent talking, and was happy to continue over the allotted time when the PR knocked on the door, an hour in, and asked how we were getting on," he wrote in a blog post, which also included audio footage from their conversation.

MIA and the New York Times

'I kind of want to be an outsider,' she said, eating a truffle-flavoured French fry

Lynn Hirschberg has been the bete noire of more than one pop star: in 1992, she wrote a profile of Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love for Vanity Fair that caused a media storm after she alleged that Love had taken heroin while pregnant (according to reports, Love was still so incensed about the article that, when she saw Hirschberg at an Oscars afterparty in 1995, she threatened to impale her with the statuette given to Quentin Tarantino for directing Pulp Fiction).

Nearly 20 years later, Hirschberg - now writing for the New York Times - wrote a headline-grabbing interview with M.I.A., in which she drew pointed parallels between the singer's rebellious persona and her celebrity status, including the now-infamous passage: "'I kind of want to be an outsider,' she said, eating a truffle-flavoured French fry. 'I don't want to make the same music, sing about the same stuff, talk about the same things. If that makes me a terrorist, then I'm a terrorist.'"

A furious M.I.A. later blasted her on Twitter, posted her phone number online, and posted clips she'd secretly taped which suggested it had actually been Hirschberg who'd pushed the idea of ordering the fancy chips all along, as the Observer reported.

'I kind of want to be an outsider,' she said, eating a truffle-flavoured French fry

Lou Reed and Lester Bangs

BBC Radio 6 Music - Jarvis Cocker's tribute to Lou Reed

The hilariously snarky back-and-forths between Lou Reed and Lester Bangs are the stuff of rock 'n' roll legend. Bangs couldn't resist needling Reed whenever they met face-to-face: a 1973 profile he wrote for UK magazine Let It Rock started with him describing Reed as a "vaguely uncomfortable fat man" and peaked with him drunkenly goading him by insulting Judy Garland and David Bowie.

They met for a rematch in 1975, in a piece for Creem magazine titled Let Us Now Praise Famous Death Dwarves, or How I Slugged It Out with Lou Reed and Stayed Awake. It's full of waspish remarks...

Reed: "You used to be able to write… You're getting very egocentric."
Bangs: "One thing I like about you, is that you're not afraid to lower yourself."

And it also includes one of Reed's classic journalist-dismantling putdowns: "You really are an a**hole. You went past a**holism into some kind of urinary tract."

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