Some of country music’s biggest names have promised to put their fans before political correctness by pledging to continue performing in North Carolina, despite the cancellation of several high-profile concerts due to the state’s passage of a so-called transgender “bathroom law.”
Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Boston, Ringo Starr and others have all nixed sets across the state since March, when the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act was passed with unanimous support from Republicans and signed into law by Gov. Pat McCrory.
The law requires individuals to use the public restroom that corresponds with their biological sex.
Speaking to the Associated Press at the 2016 American Country Countdown Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday, a number of country stars expressed support for North Carolina citizens and vowed the law would not prevent them from playing in the state.
“We love North Carolina and our fans there so we’re gonna play… We are going to be there. For sure,” Tyler Hubbard, guitarist and vocalist for the group Florida Georgia Line, told the AP.
Country singer Cam, who wrote and performed the 2015 hit single “Burning House,” said: “I think for some artists they feel like they can make a difference with their business and some artists feel like they can make a difference being there and supporting their fans that are part of the community.”
“Why leave them alone? So yeah, it’s kind of a hard thing. I don’t actually have to make that choice currently, but I feel like I’d like to go there just to be with my fans,” she added.
For his part, singer Chris Janson said he feels people have “bigger things” to worry about than boycotting the state over bathroom privacy.
“Frankly, I don’t have time to sweat things like that,” Janson told the AP. “I think there are bigger things in the world to be thinking about. So I think you can kind of get where I lean on that subject, right? You have to perform for the fans!”
“We’re not going in the bathroom. We’re just going to go on a stage,” added Janson’s wife Kelly Lynn.
North Carolina natives Chris Lane and American Idol Season 10 winner Scotty McCreery both said that canceling performances in their home state is not an option.
“I’m not in politics, but it’s my home state. I love it there,” said McCreery. “I’ve got a show coming up in June.”
When Pearl Jam front man Eddie Vedder announced his band was canceling an April 20 show in Raleigh, the rocker described the North Carolina bathroom law as a “despicable piece of legislation,” and claimed it “encourages discrimination against an entire group of American citizens.”
Boston founder Tom Scholz called the law — which prevents men dressed as women from entering women’s bathrooms — a form of “bigotry” when he canceled three shows in the state last month.
Florida Georgia Line took home the Group/Duo of the Year award at Sunday’s American Country Countdown Awards show.