Corey Feldman, the star of what host Tamron Hall called "The year's most-watched Today.com" video, made his triumphant return to the Today Show stage on Thursday morning (Oct. 13), with backing band Angelic 2 the Core in tow to sing his plea for peace anthem, "Take a Stand."
Feldman responded to the widespread mockery he received for his first performance on Today in September -- first in an essay on the show's website that began, "I, artist!," and went on to describe how he has overcome bullying in his life and art, and then on the show itself.
The '80s film fixture said he had a moment of clarity talking to an "investor of mine," after his business associate posited to him that, "When KISS first started, when Eminem first started, when Nirvana first started, they all got hate. People were turning them off at the radio stations, people walking off the dance floor at the clubs, because it didn't make sense to them at that time. But those all became amazing legends. So just think of it that way."
"That really turned it around for me," Feldman explained of his decision to return to the show after the torrent of mockery that was unleashed by the previous appearance, which earned the actor support from the likes of Kesha, P!nk and Miley Cyrus. "I was like, 'You're right, a lot of people get hate at the beginning.' Because we're doing something new, we're doing something that hasn't been done before. But it's all about innovation and being an artist, and we can't be afraid to show our art."
(NBC News' TODAY)
Feldman's fearlessness extended to his ensuing performance of "Take a Stand," which the viral star introduced as a song "for America -- we are at a time right now when the world needs to focus really on peace and love and tolerance. Especially with all the bullying."
Resembling a Mortal Kombat-designed Rocky Balboa, Feldman led a rousing performance of the impassioned new song, which calls out Americans (including himself) for their lack of woke-ness: "Coz I choose to ignore the suffering abroad / Doesn't mean it's not happening / Just means I turned it off."
The chorus, anthemic in a third-hand Black Crowes kind of way, demands a deceleration of national aggression: ""We need peace right now / We need love somehow / World is dark from the clouds / Let the sun shine down." Previously held up in a ponytail, Feldman unleashed his flowing black hair at the song's climax, and capped the performance by waving a miniature American flag.
"You did it!" cheered the proud-parent host Hall after the performance. "You made your comeback!"
Watch the interview and performance below, and read Feldman's entire Today essay here.