UPDATED: Florida On My Mind: Jay Z, Rolling Stones Join Stevie Wonder’s Boycott of Florida Over Stand Your Ground Law

Editors note: Huffington Post reports this list is discredited.

Representatives for a number of artists on a purported list of musicians and performers boycotting the state of Florida in the wake of the George Zimmerman verdict said Tuesday that their clients have never heard of or been contacted about the list.


For those that we have lost in the battle for justice, wherever that fits in any part of the world — we can’t bring them back. What we can do is we can let our voices be heard. And we can vote in our various countries throughout the world for change and equality for everybody. That’s what I know we can do.

I know I am not everybody. I am just a human being but for the gift God has has given me and what it means, I decided today that until the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law is abolished in Florida, I will never perform there again. As a matter of fact, wherever I find that law exists, I will not perform in that state or in that part of the world.

According to a source close to Stevie Wonder, it appears that several other artists are ready to join him in his protest. This morning that source told the American Urban Radio Network that artists including The Rolling Stones, Rihanna, Jay Z, Madonna and Justin Timberlake would be joining Mr. Wonder in bidding adieu to the Sunshine State so long as Stand Your Ground Laws remain intact.

The initial act in itself garnered wide attention with Slate calling it “politically savvy” and “morally righteous” acknowledging that that his actions harken back to similar efforts made by artists like Ray Charles, Sam Cooke and The Beatles in the face of a Jim Crowe south.

If true, this massive showing of solidarity is likely to gain notice from both fans and policymakers in the state.  Whether or not that impacts Governor Rick Scott is still up in the air.

Last week the Governor did take time to meet with The Dream Defenders, a group of young activists of color who literally took over his office on behalf of Justice for Trayvon Martin, to discuss their demand to have a special session called to reevaluate Stand Your Ground Laws.  Upon meeting with the young protesters, the Governor reiterated his refusal to do so which prompted them to pledge to maintain their sit-in until their demands have been met.

While Florida is not the only state to maintain Stand Your Ground Laws, for the time being it appears to be ground zero for where this battle is fought.  Moving something substantive forward will require participation from everyone who has a stake.  While these artists are sure to up the ante, the visible presence of The Dream Defenders in Governor Scott’s office is just as invaluable.

The point being that you don’t need to sell out Yankee Stadium to do something — it helps! — but Florida is becoming a test case for what happens when a movement finds agreement with society’s cultural icons.

The power in that is yet to be seen.

Till then, I’ll have Florida on my mind.

14 Responses to "UPDATED: Florida On My Mind: Jay Z, Rolling Stones Join Stevie Wonder’s Boycott of Florida Over Stand Your Ground Law"
cmaukonen | Monday July 22, 2013 04:24 pm 1

When Disney begins to feel the pinch, that law will be history. Count on it.

onitgoes | Monday July 22, 2013 04:25 pm 2
In response to cmaukonen @ 1

Let’s hope they do feel a pinch. Not holding my breath. Time will tell.

I tip my hat to Stevie Wonder & the other artists involved in this boycott. I hope others follow suit, including those in other pursuits, such as sports. It’s worth a shot.

JohnJ | Monday July 22, 2013 04:31 pm 3

Whether or not that impacts Governor Rick Scott is still up in the air

The only way to effect pRick is through his wallet. If he doesn’t make money personally on concerts he will not care.

billyc | Monday July 22, 2013 04:47 pm 4

Kudos to those artists for getting the ball rolling. We need to spread the idea of a boycott to other goods and services. Kel Tec CNC, the company that manufactured the firearm used by Zimmerman, was given millions in tax incentives to locate in Florida while the legislature was cutting funding to many services poor folks need to survive. Boycotts can succeed when you kick people where it really hurts: in their wallets.

alan1tx | Monday July 22, 2013 06:06 pm 5

Do any of them, or anyone else realize the “Stand Your Ground Law” did not apply to this case.

Specifically, if you’re laying on your back getting hit in the head, there’s no “stand your anything”.

RepackRider | Monday July 22, 2013 06:13 pm 6

if you’re laying on your back getting hit in the head, there’s no “stand your anything”.

If only Trayvon had been armed, he would not have been lying on his back getting beaten, and then shot.

I hope all young Black men in Florida start packing hog leg pistols openly in leg holsters strapped for a quick draw.

RepackRider | Monday July 22, 2013 06:14 pm 7

But back to the subject, can anyone imagine a Black artist performing in FLA? Wait until that spreads to NFL players. This could be the boycott that makes an impact.

billyc | Monday July 22, 2013 06:48 pm 8

Florida makes a ton of money from tourists – encourage folks to vacation elsewhere. When the AZ legislature passed that much-hated “Show us your papers, please” law a few years back, the boycott of AZ by numerous associations not to have conventions in Phx, tourists not wanting to visit AZ, pro sports figures talking openly of not wanting to play there, began to have a cumulative effect on AZ state gov’t. Plus, the ordinary residents of AZ grew exasperated hearing comedians badmouthing the state. So spread the word: Boycott Florida!

alan1tx | Monday July 22, 2013 07:10 pm 9
In response to RepackRider @ 6

If only Trayvon had been armed, he would not have been lying on his back getting beaten

Sounds like you and SW see eye to eye. Do NOT look into the facts.

There are none so blind as those who will not see.

Bluetoe2 | Monday July 22, 2013 08:00 pm 10

Are you kidding??? Really??? “Stand Your Ground” laws will sweep the nation making it open season on African Americans, liberals, dare we say it Jews, and other nonbelievers. It’s the American way.

Laura G | Monday July 22, 2013 09:06 pm 11

Well, if they want to boycott Florida over SYG then they need to boycott the other 32 states that have SYG laws too…or maybe they are just too stupid to realize other states have these laws as well?

rtafoya | Monday July 22, 2013 09:28 pm 12

I’ve seen this reported in a few places, but I also have contacts at TIcketmaster who tell me that the Jay-Z/Justin Timberlake show in Miami on August 19th is not cancelled. Tickets are still on sale and the show is still on (as of the time I’m posting this).

A list circulated over the weekend also named Frankie Beverly and Maze as boycotting the state. But at the moment, their Sept. 15th show in Ft. Lauderdale is also still on sale and expected to happen as scheduled.

I hope more artists do join. I also hope that the unnamed sources providing this list of artists weren’t just being aspirational.

treat | Tuesday July 23, 2013 05:29 am 13

Good for all of them to skip Florida. Let the people vote that low rated governor out and make it a blue state soon.

Elliott | Tuesday July 23, 2013 01:56 pm 14

Apparently this list is not correct, please see the update.

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