The Black Eyed Peas performed in Melbourne, Australia, on Saturday as the pre-game entertainment at an Australia Football League game, but one particular moment stood out for many fans when band co-founder will.i.a.m appeared to check his phone mid-song.
In video of the moment obtained by the Daily Mail, will.i.am is in the midst of singing when he strolls over to the side of the stage and picks up his cell phone.
He then holds it up and takes a few moments to check something on the screen before sliding the phone into one of his pockets.
The phone checking did not go unnoticed by fans, many of whom took to Twitter to call out will.i.am for apparently being so disinterested in his own performance that he decided to check his texts or emails.
However, a fan responded to a newspaper report by offering a reasonable explanation: will.i.am was livestreaming the performance on social media, and he made sure the livestream was continuing after the phone accidentally fell onto the stage.
Shortly after, will.i.am confirmed that is exactly what took place, shutting down criticism by pointing out that “sharing on socials isn’t checking phone mid-song… that’s me being a perforer & camera man showing the world how Awesome Australia is.”
This isn’t the first time that will.i.am has taken heat for pulling out his phone at seemingly inopportune moments; earlier this year, he appeared on a British chat show to defend using his phone on the air while serving as judge on “The Voice U.K.”. Watch: