Well, At Least They Tried: Notorious Celebrity Comeback Fails

May 16, 2013  |  
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There’s nothing better than when a favored star who’s fallen on bad luck returns to the spotlight energized and renewed. Think Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, and even Michael Vick. But the sad reality is that comebacks are harder than we think – and certainly not wholly dependent on talent. Just ask these 15 celebs who failed (miserably) in their attempts. They know the deal.



We lost all of the R&B magic that was Jodeci in 1998 when the group went on hiatus – and it looks like we’ll never get it back. Just two months ago, the group attempted a comeback in London and not 30 seconds in, Mr. Dalvin had jumped off the stage, busted his arse and needed security’s help just to get back on. Then when he did get back on he, K-Ci and Jo-Jo (Devante was a no-show) sang out of tune, stumbled around the stage drunk and got straight up boo-ed. They then begged the audience to let them continue, before another group had to take over and finish their set. How horribly embarrassing.


A black sheer cat suit? A braided crown with purple lipstick? A Whitney Houston tribute without a Whitney Houston caliber voice?! Anybody on Ashanti’s team could’ve kindly suggested that a comeback attempt using any one of these elements would be a terrible fail – as it was. Just check it out for yourself:


Alexander O’Neal

Who the hell gave Alexander O’Neal a working mic and express permission to go on stage looking the way he did at the 2011 BET Awards? We know he had a drug problem – and we now know he has some jacked up teeth – but this comeback must still go down in history as one of the worst. We still love you though, Alex.
Cherrelle and Alexander – O’neal Saturday love – Bet Awards – 2011 found onR&B

Lindsay Lohan

After five years and no starring roles, Lindsay Lohan’s management decided that the best way to orchestrate the fallen star’s return to grace would be by making her a “serious” actress – because you know she can’t live off those Mean Girls royalties forever. So she landed the part of Elizabeth Taylor in the highly anticipated biopic Liz & Dick – and bombed.

In fact, LiLo did so poorly that critics had a field day going in on how much of a fail the whole shebang was. The Chicago Tribune said, “Let’s not pretend it ever had a shot at being decent. Lindsay Lohan as Oscar-winning screen legend Elizabeth Taylor told us right up front that the filmmakers were more interested in trashy publicity than quality.” Probably true, but still ouch.

Ja Rule

Poor Ja Rule. 50 Cent destroyed his career years ago and he still can’t get his isht back on track. In 2009, he released his comeback album two years after its original release date. But poor reception and even poorer chart performance left him no choice but to offer the entire thing as a free download.

Brandy and Monica

Brandy and Monica really thought they’d recreated “The Boy is Mine” with “It All Belongs To Me,” only to quickly realize that no, they had not. Sure it was a nice idea, and certainly a solid attempt at a comeback on both women’s parts, but the corniness of two grown women singing about bum a$$ men just never caught on. And sadly, the single languished in “flop”land.

Britney Spears

When word got out that Britney Spears would be joining the X Factor judging panel, everyone was hoping that the move would be a comeback win. But ultimately, Britney’s participation in the show did little, if anything, for her celebrity and absolutely nothing for her fading music career… I mean, have you heard Will.i.am’s “Scream and Shout” featuring her? Horrible, just horrible.

Lil’ Kim

In 2011, Lil Kim made her grand return to hip hop with the release of the Nicki Minaj dis record Black Friday. But though it may have been a cute concept initially, it was ultimately a comeback fail for two reasons: First, Kim’s insults were weak; and second, she charged $9.99 for the mixtape. Enough said.

Dru Hill

After six years of no Dru Hill, the group reassembled in 2008 to announce their comeback on Baltimore radio station 92Q Jams – and straight out the gate that mess fell apart. While on the air ACTUALLY announcing their comeback, James “Woody” Green declared that he would be quitting the Dru to answer God’s call – and that’s when things went South. Shocked and embarrassed, Sisqo and his platinum head stormed out the studio and sped off in a vehicle, while Nokio and Woody got into a legit fight in-studio and on-air. But don’t just take my word for it. Peep the ratchetness for yourself:


Sharon Stone

Basic Instinct was easily the most successful film of Sharon Stone’s career. So when she fell off in the late 90’s, she attempted to reenter the spotlight by starring in what else – a Basic Instinct sequel. But though that strategy seemed foolproof, the movie was a complete bomb. It only made back $6 million of its $70 million budget and sat in the theaters for a depressing 17 days.


In 2012, DMX attempted an international comeback tour that was red-lighted after a string of legal infractions left his passport suspended. The booking agency that had footed the bill for the tour then sued him for a hefty $630,000 for his failure to meet contractual obligations. Talk about a comeback gone wrong!

Ray J

If we are to even consider Ray J’s “I Hit It First” a sincere attempt at making music then yes, it was a comeback fail. The 32-year old R&B singer has not released anything in five years, and certainly nothing nearly as successful as “S*xy Can I” and “One Wish.” It’s almost a shame that he chose a Kim K/Kanye West dis track to mark his return to the biz. But he did, and it bombed.

Mel Gibson

In the wake of all the racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic, domestic abuse drama, Mel Gibson attempted to revamp his tarnished image by starring in an offbeat drama that displayed his acting chops in new ways. The Beaver, released in 2011 got somewhat okay reviews but completely flopped in theaters. It never even became a wide release.


Shyne’s had a rough… forever… so when he finally got out of jail everyone was hoping that his comeback would be fire, like the good old days. But unfortunately for Shyne, the rap game has changed and he just hasn’t been able to catch up. His flow is played out, his voice is different and it seems he’s more concerned with getting back to the US than buckling down and grinding out a hit.

Dustin Diamond

Dustin Diamond fell to Z-list celebrity status after his time on Saved By The Bell and all its spinoffs ended. So, in an attempt to comeback (to relevance we assume) Diamond released Screeched – Saved By The Smell, a porno directed by and starring him. Needless to say, he remained a Z-lister.

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