Back in 1975, NBC took a chance on a guy named Lorne Michaels who had an idea for a live sketch show. Four decades later, Saturday Night Live is celebrating 40 years on the air, and this Sunday, Feb. 15, NBC will air a special three-hour live broadcast featuring past and present SNL stars.

Looking back on the show’s legacy certainly involves recalling the best (and worst) sketches and the actors who performed them — but it also means reflecting on another key element of SNL: the live music. Over the years, some performers have been remembered simply for being great, but others have gained notoriety for more complicated reasons. Here, a look back at five of the most notorious musical guests in SNL history.


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