News: Will.i.am Sparks Controversy With Blackface Video Music Awards Performance [Video]

Sunday, Sep 12, 2010 11:05PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Black Eyed Peas' Will.i.am sparked controversy at tonight's Video Music Awards 2010 after performing at the annual ceremony in blackface.

The singer's decision to wear blackface resulted in multiple Twitter reactions.

Back in black? When Black Eyed Peas bandleader Will.i.am joined Nicki Minaj during the VMA pre-show Sunday, outraged fans slammed the 35-year-old rapper's for appearing in blackface. "Will.i.am. wearing blackface!? What a racist!" fakeart123 tweeted. Adds TSCMoncton, "Anyone notice that Will.i.am painted himself in blackface? I sure hope there's some kind of meaning behind a stunt like that." Blackface -- which first gained popularity during the 19th century -- typically promotes racist stereotypes toward African Americans. In addition to his face paint, Will.i.am wore head-to-toe black (including a shiny hair piece in the shape of a side-mohawk). (Us Magazine)

Will also appeared on-stage with Young Money's Nicki Minaj.

Wearing a bright pink and purple metallic one piece with a pink wig topped with a bee-hive and backed by two dancers, Nicki took the stage to her chart-topping hit "Your Love." After singing a few seconds of the track, the song sped up and transitioned to her latest "Check It Out." That's when will.i.am joined her on stage, taking "all black everything" to new heights as he wore black from head to toe -- literally. The rapper/producer not only had a black top, pants and sneakers, he was also in Black face and had a hard, shinny hair piece on in the shape of a side -mohawk with a strip of bright pink down the middle. The two were later joined by a male break dancer, who popped and locked it to the beat. (Billboard)

Will reportedly defended his decision to make a controversial fashion statement.

"1st. just because I where (sic) all black including head mask as expression and emphasize my outfit, it shouldn't be looked at as racial," he tweeted. "Let go of the past. there are far more important things 2 bark about. (Jobs, health, education) not a black man wearing all black everything." (All Hip Hop)

Check out footage from the awards show performance below:

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