Justin Hawkins Says Brian Johnson Insisted On Performing AC/DC’s ‘Back In Black’ Together


In a series of tweets, the Darkness singer Justin Hawkins clarified why he took the microphone from Brian Johnson during the ‘Back in Black’ performance in the recent Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert.

Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins’ untimely passing on March 25, 2022, was a devastating incident for his family, bandmates, and the whole music world. The surviving Foo Fighters members and the Hawkins family had been preparing for some time to honor the late musician with an unforgettable tribute concert. While there are still around two weeks for the Los Angeles show, the first leg of the special event took place at London’s Wembley Stadium on September 3.

The late musician’s 16-year-old son, Shane Hawkins, delivered one of the most touching performances of the night by taking over the drums on Foo Fighters’ ‘My Hero.’ Another moment that drew attention was AC/DC singer Brian Johnson rocking the stage with ‘Back in Black.’ While Johnson was performing the classic song, Justin Hawkins jumped onto the stage and took the microphone away from the singer.

The official Twitter account of the Darkness shared a video of Hawkins’ performance with Wolfgang Van Halen. Then, a user replied to criticize the singer’s interruption during Johnson’s singing. Another person wrote that the AC/DC vocalist asked Hawkins to be onstage and defended the Darkness singer. Later, Justin stepped into the conversation and confirmed his point by saying that Brian Johnson told him to come to the stage for the second verse of ‘Back in Black.’

Although Hawkins hesitated to do it in the first place since he had never performed the song before, Dave Grohl encouraged him to accompany Johnson on the stage. Then, Wolfgang also left a comment praising Hawkins’ performance. The rocker said he was happy to help Johnson deliver an amazing performance. He thinks Brian called him to the stage so that he would have some time to recover his voice for the rest of the track.

The Darkness’ Twitter post read:

“Our very own Justin Hawkins doing what he does best on stage with Wolfgang Van Halen & Dave Grohl at the Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert last night. An unforgettable night.”

A user’s comment:

“He should’ve gotten his ass kicked backstage for his little stunt during Back in Black.'”

Another user replied:

Brian called him onto the stage!”

Hawkins got involved in the discussion:

“Yeah, 10 seconds before the AC/DC section, Brian told me to get up for the second verse of ‘Back in Black.’ I didn’t want to do it, never sung that before but Dave Grohl said, ‘if Brian tells you to do something, you f*cking do it.’ Haha.”

Wolfgang’s words about Hawkins’ performance:

“You’re goddamn right! And you killed it.”

Justin replied:

“Haha, I wouldn’t say that. To be honest, I feel like Brian Johnson just wanted to drag me up for a laugh and to give his voice a few seconds to recover in time for the rest of the track. I thought he did an amazing job and I’m always happy to help out when needed.”

You can watch the performance and check out the tweets below.