20,000 strong crowd loved Will.i.am at the O2 Arena, says Neil McCormick

This was one of the maddest shows I have ever seen, like a cross between a big   budget sci-fi techno rave and an enthusiastic amateur revue. It involved   giant white heads with US pop star and The Voice judge Will.i.am’s   moving face projected on them, tuneless medleys accompanied by beats tapped   out an iPad, and a tongue-tied display of inept freestyle rapping. There was   also a half hour DJ set in the middle of the show with the star performer   spinning hyperactive remixes of other people’s songs and shouting   “LONDONNNNN!” and “Where’s my party people at?”

Fortunately for the visibly nervous American star embarking on his first solo   tour, his “party people” were right there, waving phones and luminous   glo-sticks in the air. The twenty thousand strong crowd loved it.

will.i.am defends Miley

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The Black Eyed Peas star has worked with both stars in the past. Over the last 12 months Miley and Justin have both garnered negative headlines, with Miley’s raunchy antics causing outrage and Justin accused of drug use and visiting a brothel.

will can’t understand why people are making such a big fuss.

“I wouldn’t consider them naughty. I’ve met some really, really naughty people and they’re not naughty,” he told British magazine Heat. “When I come from, that’s PG to me. When I was 19 or 20 I wasn’t in the public eye, so we made mistakes – my crew – but we did it in the privacy of our family and friends. It wasn’t shown to the entire world.”

The musician wants people to understand that controversial stars have always been popular. He points to reggae legend Bob Marley as a prime example of that.

“Those kids – well, I wouldn’t say kids actually – they don’t have that luxury. If you really break it down, they’re not doing anything that bad. Everyone has their trials and tribulations,” he said. “When I was growing up, Bob Marley was a hero and he was smoking weed like oxygen. But Bob Marley was fighting for something, so that overshadowed that fact he was smoking marijuana.”

will doesn’t know how he could cope if he’d been thrust into the limelight as a youngster, like Miley and Justin.

“What they do in their private life or for leisure is not that important. People make it important. You gotta let them grow up,” he insisted.