According to reports, some of the music industry’s biggest artists have joined Stevie Wonder in boycotting Florida over the state’s controversial ‘stand your ground’ law.
The acts that have started joining Wonder include Justin Timberlake, Usher, Rod Stewart and Madonna, as a source close to the legendary musician revealed to American Urban Radio Network’s April Ryan.
Rappers Jay Z, Kanye West, Young Jeezy, Wale and Trey Songz have also signed on to the boycott threat as well as pop acts including R. Kelly, Rihanna and Alicia Keys.
After a Florida jury acquitted George Zimmerman of a second – degree murder charges restricting from the death of Trayvon Martin, Wonder announced his intentional boycott the day after it was announced and hit the headlines worldwide through countless media outlets.
The singer said: “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.
“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.”
He continued: “[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.”
Several musicians have also gestured their support for Martin: Beyonce held a moment of silence during a concert in Nashville, Tennessee and sang the song I Will Always Love You, originally written and sung by Dolly Parton and bought to a global audience by the late Whitney Houston. The singer also met Martin’s parents during a rally in New York City along with husband Jay Z. Bruce Springsteen also dedicated a song to ‘justice for Trayvon Martin’ during a concert in Limerick, Ireland.
The ‘stand your ground’ self-defence laws in Florida and two dozen other states allow individuals to defend themselves without requiring them to attempt to avoid or retreat from a dangerous situation. Even though Zimmerman did not specifically employ a “stand your ground” law defence to fight second-degree murder charges in the killing of Florida teen Trayvon Martin, the trial has brought a changed scrutiny to the statutes.
According to Ryan’s report, some of the recording artists have already cancelled shows in the Sunshine State.