From Metallica To Christina Aguilera: 5 Songs Used As Tools Of Torture

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Britney Spears became an unlikely figure in the fight against Somali pirates last week when it was revealed that her biggest hits were being used by British naval officers to scare away Western culture-hating pirates and stop them boarding their ships. But she’s not the only pop star who has unwittingly become a military tool. Here’s a look at five other artists whose music has also been used as a torture device.


The punishing sound of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” was repeatedly played by the US government in order to cause sleep deprivation amongst Iraqi prisoners of war who had previously never heard the joys of heavy metal before.

Christina Aguilera

According to various extracts of prison logs, Aguilera’s sexually-charged hit, “Dirrty,” was constantly pumped over the loud speakers at Guantanamo Bay detainees back in the mid-’00s.


Terror suspect Binyam Mohamed claims he was forced to listen to Eminem’s “The Real Slim Shady” for 20 consecutive days during his time at a secret US prison in Kabal.

Van Halen

Alongside The Clash and The Howard Stern Show, Van Halen’s music was blasted at the Vatican embassy at deafening levels in 1989 in a successful bid to draw Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega out of hiding.

Julio Iglesias

Enrique’s father became an unlikely weapon in 1973 when the thousands of political opponents who were jailed when Chilean dictator Pinochet seized power were forced to hear his easy-listening Latin pop for days on end.