Grace Jones will be replacing M.I.A. as the festival headliner for Afropunk London.
Last Tuesday (July 19) Afropunk London unveiled the complete lineup and included Jones on the bill.
In an official statement released to Billboard, organizers said, “An icon at the heart of art, fashion and music worlds across four decades, Grace Jones will headline the first AFROPUNK London with a cosmic performance. Since the ‘70s, Grace has carved her path as a true creator.”
This past Friday (July 22) those in charge of the festival revealed that M.I.A. was being removed as a headliner in a statement that read, “We are excited and honored to do our first AFROPUNK Festival in London and want to do it right. After discussing the situation with the artist and the community, a decision was agreed upon by all involved that M.I.A. will no longer headline AFROPUNK London.”
It was reported that M.I.A. was removed from the bill over some controversial comments she made about the Black Lives Matter movement. It initially appeared that the rapper was going to remove herself as the festival headliner, but now it seems that both she and the festival have decided that it is for the best. Reportedly some threatened to boycott the festival itself if she was not removed from the bill.
The statement in question dealt with the idea of Muslim lives mattering as well as black lives, as given to the Evening Standard. She further said that these issues cannot be asked on Apple songs, or an American TV program.
She later clarified her comments, saying, “I’m not Muslim. My question was, on American platforms what do they allow you to stand up for in 2016?”