It happened to Katy Perry in 2009 and, on the weekend, it was the Black Eyed Peas' turn to be mistakenly named winners at an annual French music awards ceremony.
The hip hop-inspired group kicked off the NRJ Awards in Cannes on Saturday night with a rousing performance of their hit song I Gotta Feeling, which eventually scored the night's prize for best international song.
However, an embarrassing gaffe occurred when presenters Kamel Ouali, a choreographer, and pop newcomer Kesha announced that the energetic American quartet had won the title of best international group.
Applause rang out, but the group did not appear onstage to collect the trophy.
After an awkward moment of confusion, Ouali returned to the microphone to apologize for having read the wrong name from the card, which had listed all the category's nominees as well as the winner.
Amid boos, he then declared German pop-rock band Tokio Hotel as the true recipient of best international group.
The incident is a bizarre repeat of last year's gala, when Perry accepted the trophy for best international song for her track I Kissed a Girl.
However, organizers later confirmed that Rihanna was the actual winner for Disturbia.
The Barbadian-born Rihanna didn't appear to hold a grudge, however, and returned to perform at this year's event. She also accepted the trophy for international female artist of the year.
Other award recipients Saturday night included:
- Francophone female artist: Sofia Essaidi.
- Francophone male artist: Christophe Willem.
- International male artist: Robbie Williams.
- Francophone revelation: Florent Mothe.
- International revelation: Lady Gaga
- Francophone group/duo: Mozart l'Opera Rock.
- Francophone song: L'Assasymphonie, Florent Mothe,
- International album: One Love, David Guetta.
- Francophone album: Caféine, Christophe Willem.
- Most downloaded song: Ça m'énerve, Helmut Fritz.
- NRJ Award of Honour: Robbie Williams and Beyoncé.
Robbie Williams, Jay-Z, Mika and Michael Bublé were also among those who performed at the gala.
The NRJ Awards, a French equivalent to the U.K.'s Brit Awards, are a fan-voted pop-music honour largely chosen by the audiences of radio station NRJ and TV network TF1.