It happened in a flash during a Maroon 5 performance over the weekend — frontman Adam Levine was belting out the band’s 2004 hit “Sunday Morning” when an overly eager fan suddenly rushed the stage and grabbed him mid-note.
A now-viral TikTok clip of the incident, which took place at Saturday’s We Can Survive concert at the Hollywood Bowl, shows that security quickly grabbed the woman and pulled her away from Levine, who could be seen cursing, shuddering and shaking off the uninvited experience before getting back into the groove.
In the comments that follow that video, some people seemed offended by the former “Voice” coach’s visceral reaction, suggesting he should “humble himself” and “remember the money in your pocket is from those fans.” Levine responded to those critics in clips he shared to his Instagram stories Tuesday.
“So I just wanted to address the Hollywood Bowl incident thing — a fan coming up to me onstage,” he said. “I have always been someone who loves, respects, worships our fans. Without our fans, we don’t a job. I say that all the time to our fans.”
He went on to explain that he found the way some people characterized his reaction at the show, which was referred to as “demeaning,” “arrogant” and “humiliating” by various commenters, hurtful.
“To think that anyone would believe that I thought that our fans were beneath us, or less than us, makes my stomach turn,” he continued. “That's just not who I am. That's not who I've ever been.”
The 42-year-old pop rocker then offered up a defense of his in-the-moment shudders.
"I just need you guys to know I was really startled, and sometimes when you're startled, you have to shake it off and move on,” he noted. “Because I'm doing my job up there, and it's what I pride myself on. So I need to let you guys know what my heart is, and my heart is that connection that exists between the band performing onstage and the fans."
He closed by adding, “I hope we can all understand that," before blowing a kiss to the camera.
While Levine addressed his critics, many of his fans in the 45,000+ comments on that TikTok clip firmly had his back.
“He doesn’t even have to be humbled... a random person invaded his personal space during a pandemic,” one wrote. “He acted the right way.”
“DONT TOUCH PEOPLE WITHOUT THEIR CONSENT. Period,” another added.
And yet another insisted that “no one would want a stranger to run up to them and touch them."
This story first appeared on TODAY.com. More from TODAY: