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Robbie Williams Switches Up Lyrics To 'Rock DJ' At World Cup Opening Ceremony

Robbie Williams Switches Up Lyrics To 'Rock DJ' At World Cup Opening Ceremony

As with most boy bands, Take That's image was always squeaky clean - but original member Robbie Williams never really fit that mould very well.

He was always more of bad boy who never really shied away from controversy, and judging by recent events, it looks as though Robbie is still the same old Robbie.

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The 44-year-old singer was in Russia yesterday to perform at the opening ceremony for the World Cup, but in typically cheeky mood, he decided to change the lyrics of his hit 2000 hit 'Rock DJ' on the fly.

The recorded version has the refrain: "Pimpin' ain't easy, most of them fleece me every night." On this occasion, however, Robbie changed them to: "Pimpin' ain't easy, most of them fleece me, but I did this for free." He also gave the camera the middle finger.

The incident wasn't actually aired in the UK or via British streaming services, but luckily the joy of the Internet is that pretty much everything captured on camera now hangs around forever.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA
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Robbie, now a silver-haired veteran rather than the youthful face of British pop, also went on to flip the bird at the TV cameras. Unsurprisingly, it caused quite a stir on social media, with one person labelling him a 'massive tool'.

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They wrote that the incident made Robbie look "even more of a massive tool than you already are! Nice and appropriate gesture for all the kids watching around the world."

Another person added: "Didn't see Robbie Williams' opening performance BUT I'm not shocked he thought it was a good idea to throw up a middle finger to a feed 6 million people might be watching. That's just sooooooooooooo Robbie." It is, isn't it?


One Twitter user suggested the whole thing was a PR stunt, which certainly doesn't seem out of the realm of possibility for Robbie Williams.

They wrote: "Robbie Williams' middle finger salute was a PR stunt but also a jibe at critics who said he was getting paid a shit load for opening ceremony. He even changed the words to the song."

Another said: "Leave the man alone @robbiewilliams yes he gave the finger but he did it in style and he knows very well what he is doing!!!"

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

So it seems that Robbie - whose set list at the opening ceremony also included 'Let Me Entertain You', 'Feel' and 'Angels', with the latter performed as a duet with Aida Garifullina - is getting more stick for his middle finger salute than for switching up the words to 'Rock DJ'.

As you'd expect, really. Carry on, everyone.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Celebrity, Football, World Cup 2018, Music

Mischa Pearlman

Mischa is a freelance journalist usually based in either New York or London. He has written for Kerrang!, Record Collector, NME, the New York Observer and FLOOD magazine, among others. Contact him at [email protected]