HIV charity hit back at DaBaby for “spreading misinformation”

DaBaby has received backlash following comments he made over the weekend about gay men and people with HIV.

Appearing at Rolling Loud Miami over the weekend, the North Carolina rapper could be heard saying in footage from his set: “If you didn’t show up today with HIV, AIDS, any of them deadly sexually transmitted diseases that’ll make you die in two or three weeks, put your cellphone light up.

“Ladies, if your pussy smell like water, put your cellphone light up. Fellas, if you ain’t sucking dick in the parking lot, put your cellphone light up.”

He also claimed HIV will “make you die in two or three weeks”.

After many criticised the rapper’s statements as homophobic, he doubled down on his opinion on his Instagram stories with a lengthy 19 video response.

“What I do at a live show is for the audience at the live show. It’ll never translate correctly to somebody looking at a little five, six-second clip from their goddamn crib on their phone. It just don’t work like that,” the rapper said.

“Because, regardless of what y’all motherfuckers are talking about and how the internet twisted up my motherfucking words, me and all my fans at the show, the gay ones and the straight ones, we turned the fuck up.”

DaBaby
DaBaby. CREDIT: Press

The UK’s leading HIV and Aids charity, Terrence Higgins Trust (THT), has responded to DaBaby’s comments, stating that they “perpetuate HIV-related stigma and discrimination, as well as spreading misinformation about HIV.”

“It’s wrong for people living with HIV to be made to feel lesser or excluded because of their diagnosis – it should be unacceptable in the music industry and in society at large,” said Richard Angell, THT’s campaigns director.

“Comments like DaBaby’s perpetuate HIV-related stigma and discrimination, as well as spreading misinformation about HIV,” he continued. “You can now live a long, healthy life with HIV thanks to medical progress when you’re diagnosed and accessing treatment.”

Medication that helps manage and stop the spread of HIV has been available since 1996.

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEp) was first introduced in 2012, which can be taken by people who do not have HIV to prevent catching it, has helped to reduce infection numbers.

In September 2020, the government announced the PrEP grant determination for 2020-21, which meant councils in England could finally provide uncapped access to the game-changing HIV prevention drug.

Those who have HIV and are on treatment can be undetectable – meaning their blood carries such low amounts of the virus that they are unable to pass it on to others.

T.I.
T.I. CREDIT: Getty Images

Meanwhile, T.I. has used Lil Nas X to make a bizarre defence of DaBaby’s homophobic comments, equating them to the ‘Montero’ rapper‘s openness about his sexuality in his music.

“For instance, the Lil Nas X shit. The performances and video, man I got a lot of respect for bruh because he had the courage to live his truth, but that shit ain’t for me… Just can’t look at it… And I don’t want my children seeing it, either,” he said.

He expanded on that comment later on in the video, saying, “If you have a Lil Nas X video, and him living his truth, you gone damn sure have people like DaBaby who are going to speak they truth. There ain’t nothing wrong with none of that. It ain’t got to be no hate, it’s all honesty.”

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David Bowie collaborator, guitarist John Hutchinson, has died

David Bowie‘s team has paid tribute to jazz guitarist and three-time Bowie bandmate John Hutchinson, after he passed in hospital over the weekend following a long period of illness.

The news was confirmed by the official David Bowie Twitter account, who described him as “a semi-retired and little-known jazz guitarist and a veteran of three important David Bowie bands for seven years between 1966 and 1973”.

Perhaps Hutchinson’s most notable contribution to Bowie’s legacy is his involvement in the creation of the song ‘Space Oddity’, playing guitar on multiple early versions. In February of 1969, Bowie and Hutchinson recorded the earliest version of ‘Space Oddity’, with Hutchinson playing guitar and Bowie playing the Stylophone.

The official studio version of ‘Space Oddity’, which appears on Bowie’s self-titled 1969 album, does not include Hutchinson. However, the demo later featured on both a 2009 reissue of the album, along with a 7″ single collection titled the ‘Clareville Grove Demos’ in 2019.

Listen to that version below:

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Hutchinson also performed in multiple bands with Bowie, mostly backing him up. According to Hutchinson’s website, the guitarist auditioned to be a part of Bowie’s band in England in 1966, with the latter inviting Hutchinson to perform as part of David Bowie and the Buzz for a residency at London venue Marquee Club. The group went on to make TV and live appearances throughout the UK.

In 1968, Hutchinson formed the band Feathers with Bowie and Bowie’s then-partner Hermione Farthingale, performing a handful of concerts as a trio between September 1968 and early 1969.

In 1973, the pair reunited as bandmates once again after Bowie asked Hutchinson to join the Spiders from Mars as a touring member, performing 12-string guitar on Bowie’s ‘Aladdin Sane’ tours in the US, UK and Japan.

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Whitney Houston hologram tour to get Las Vegas Residency

A hologram tour of the late Whitney Houston is to get a residency in Las Vegas.

An Evening With Whitney: The Whitney Houston Hologram Concert, created by BASE Hologram in partnership with the Houston estate, debuted in 2020 and was set to open in Vegas late last year until the coronavirus pandemic forced a delay.

The show will feature holograms from all stages of Houston’s career alongside backup singers, dancers and musicians.

The Vegas residency will begin on October 26 at the Harrah’s Showroom and will run until April 30, 2022.

Tickets are available now on Ticketmaster and Vivid Seats.

Photo of Whitney Houston performing on stage in 1988. CREDIT: David Corio/Redferns

Last year, Pat Houston, Whitney’s sister-in-law and executor of her estate, opened up about the project.

Speaking to Rolling Stone, she said: “In 2011, Whitney and I discussed her idea of an intimate, unplugged concert tour. It was a project we called ‘Whitney Unplugged’ or ‘An Evening with Whitney. While Whitney’s no longer with us, her voice and legacy will live on with us forever.

“‘An Evening With Whitney’ is another chance for us to relive and celebrate the talent that we were so lucky to receive for more than three decades and we’re excited to bring this cutting-edge musical experience to the fans who supported the pop culture phenomenon that was Whitney Houston because they deserve nothing less.”

Last year, it was announced that Sony Pictures has won a bidding war to produce the forthcoming Houston biopic, I Wanna Dance With Somebody.

Bohemian Rhapsody‘s Anthony McCarten will serve as the film’s writer, while The Photograph‘s Stella Meghie will direct. Sony will release the film in November 2022.

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“Thank you for everything”: music world pays tribute to Amy Winehouse

Tributes have poured in from the music world on the 10th anniversary of Amy Winehouse’s death.

The singer died at the age of 27 on July 23, 2011 at her Camden home due to alcohol poisoning. Today marks a decade since her death.

Musicians and fans have been paying tribute to Winehouse throughout the day. Yungblud said “thank you for everything” alongside a picture of Winehouse, while Jools Holland said Amy had “the sort of voice that doesn’t come along just every five or ten years but comes along every 50 years.”

You can see some of the tributes to Winehouse below:

Winehouse’s father Mitch meanwhile has hinted that a new posthumous album could be in the works. Following her passing, a posthumous compilation ‘Lioness: Hidden Treasures’ was released.

Now, her father is looking at potentially making a follow-up. “We’ve found a few bits and pieces but it’s difficult because the CDs are a bit corrupted but apparently we’ve been told we might be able to rescue something,” he told BBC News.

“It might not be as good as ‘Back To Black’ but from what I’ve heard, from the snippets that we might be able to rescue, it’s good.”

The recordings include some of Winehouse’s early, pre-fame material.

“To me, I want to hear all this stuff and I want Amy’s fans to hear all this stuff so they can see she started there and she ended up here,” Mitch added. According to the late singer’s mother, Janis Winehouse-Collins, if the recordings can be saved and an album is released it could be titled ‘The Progression Of Amy’.

A new tribute documentary, Reclaiming Amy, airs tonight (July 23) at 9pm on BBC Two. Read NME‘s four-star review here.

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