Are the Rolling Stones, Jay-Z, and Rihanna Joining In Stevie Wonder’s Florida Boycott? Probably Not

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Posted July 22, 2013 by J Matthew Cobb in News
steviewonder-tour-florida-news-header

“Shared” info containing a long list of rock stars are making its rounds on Facebook associated with Stevie Wonder’s Florida boycott. We put the info to a test

According to preliminary “questionable” reports circulating across the Internet, some of the world’s greatest and not-so-great musical talents are joining in Stevie Wonder‘s Florida boycott on Florida regarding the controversial “Stand Your Ground” law that may. The list floating around mentions names like the Rolling Stones, Madonna, Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, Rod Stewart, Rihanna, Trey Songz, Mary J. Blige, Wale and Keyshia Cole. What made the list so undeniably questionable is that even in some of the more popular versions of the list (which some have been shared by 50,000 persons on Facebook) the name of the artists are sadly misspelled. That’s a serious red flag. Plus, there’s no sign of quotes or links nowhere in the photo’s descriptions, leaving room for extraordinary doubt.

Here’s one of those popular “shared” photos featuring the misspelled names of artists and with no linkage.

Click image to enlarge.


 

 

 

 

 

And this is how many times it’s been shared on Facebook as of 4:41 p.m., 7/22/13.

 

 

 

 

From the very  few resources that have been picked up on this “story,” only an article from the Washington Times (not to be confused with the more-revered Washington Post) mentions the possibilities of such a massive boycott from the music world.

A source close to singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder has released a list of some the biggest names in the music industry joining in the boycott against Florida’s “stand your ground” laws.

Artists joining Mr. Wonder reportedly include Rod Stewart, Madonna, Usher, Justin Timberlake, R. Kelly, Rihanna and Alicia Keys. Rappers Jay-Z, Kanye West, Trey Songz, Young Jeezy and Wale also signed on to the boycott, The Hill reported.

The Hill, another Washington news publication, cited that the anonymous source provided the information to April Ryan of the American Urban Radio Network. Click that link and you’re directed to the page of Washington journalist April Ryan, who serves as a White House correspondent to the American Urban Radio Network. But there’s no linkage or quotes from the artists and their management on what their “support of a change of in the Stand Your Ground Law in Florida” means. Oh yeah, we copied and pasted the actual quote from Ryan’s page. And yes, that source typed “support of a change of in the Stand Your Ground Law in Florida,” failing to take out that extra “in.”

(Check the grammatical errors underlined in red below; click image to enlarge).


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In all seriousness, we arn’t exactly sure on what to believe right now. These artists may be in support of Stevie Wonder’s courage, but may not be ready to quit their touring regimen in Florida, and states like it. Lest we forget, Wonder’s statements echoed that he would not perform in states with similar laws as Florida’s. On the record, 31 states in the continental US have already adopted laws similar to the “Stand Your Ground Law” enacted in Florida. But actually could this source be leaving a major component out of this conversation? How far will they join Stevie’s protest? Are they going so far to say they will not perform in the other states bearing similar laws? Ahh, good luck on that. Stevie has enough money in the bank to retire for good – he doesn’t need to tour. Can’t say the same thing for these other artists.

By the way, here’s the current road map of states with Stand Your Ground laws, mostly known as Castle doctrine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rolling Stone, SPIN and many of the major music publications have also failed to pick up the story, confirming the erroneous nature of this fake story. But that didn’t stop us at HiFi from digging deep to find more facts. Stopping the story dead in its tracks is the fact that the August 16 tour stop of Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z’s Legends of the Summer tour at Miami, Florida’s Sun Life Stadium has not been postponed or cancelled. Rihanna’s Diamonds tour is currently overseas and has no US tour dates on her schedule for the rest of the summer. The Rolling Stones, who are rolling out their 50 & Counting tour in the UK and in parts of the US, never even had a Florida date on their 17-date North American tour package, so there was no Florida date to cancel in the first place. And Madonna, whose MDNA tour was last year’s news, actually made news when her political agenda took a shift towards the NRA-loaded far-right: She made headlines when she appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America in June defending her stance on guns and her use of gun props in her show: “That would be like asking people to not have guns in action movies. I mean the thing is, guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”

Goes to show you that everything you read online using the guise of news and journalism is not true (or confirmed).

To date, the only confirmed artists to withdraw future any future concert performances in the Sunshine State have been Stevie Wonder and gospel act Mary Mary.

Next time you want to get info on musical talents, don’t depend on a White House insider to find out the truth.

UPDATE:
7:51 p.m., 7/22/13

Quick to jump on the story, Huffington Post published their version of the story, citing April Ryan’s details from the “alleged source.” As of today, their story has been shared 478 times and tweeted 82 times. Sadly, the story has been amended several times since it was originally published at 5:37 p.m. to exclude many of the mentioned names from before after HuffPo tried to reach out to their contacts, management, publicists, etc. According to their most recent updates, the Justin Timberlake/Jay-Z tour stop in Miami is still in effect, and a source connected to Rihanna has denied the singer’s participation in a boycott. Once again, there are no credible quotes from any of the artist’s publicists and management regarding their participation in a Florida concert ban.

UPDATE:
4:32 p.m., 7/23/13

Shenanigans!  That’s all it ever was. The Huffington Post has now changed their original story title from “Jay-Z, Kanye West Reportedly Join in Florida Boycott” to “UPDATE: Questions Over Florida Artist Boycott.” The story has been updated more times than I can count. The latest update opens with these words: “Additional information has come to light which sheds serious doubt on the veracity of a reported list of artists joining Stevie Wonder’s boycott of Florida.”

According to political watchdog site Mother Jonesno one affiliated with the Rolling Stones had heard of the boycott or the list. Since the post, April D. Ryan has spoken up about the inaccuracies of the story and believe that many of the artists now are “uncomfortable with being identified” with the protest. According to Morgan Whitaker, writer at MSNBC and blogger for PoliticsNation with Al Sharpton, a number of artists including Trey Songz and Madonna are not commenting on the story, while Rihanna’s press has confirmed that she is not joining the protest. Many of the aforementioned acts posted by Ryan have denied their involvement in such a protest.


About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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