“We welcome and celebrate the diverse communities that make New York City the greatest city in the world,” Governors Ball organizers tweeted Monday morning. “Thank you to the fans who continue to speak up for what is right. Along with you, we will continue to use our platform for good."
The Lollapalooza announcement was made about 12 hours before the rapper was scheduled to perform Sunday, the final day of the Chicago festival. Rapper Young Thug took DaBaby’s 9 p.m. slot, a coveted position on one of the festival’s main stages.
“Lollapalooza was founded on diversity, inclusivity, respect, and love,” organizers tweeted. “With that in mind, DaBaby will no longer be performing at Grant Park tonight.”
Representatives for DaBaby haven’t responded to The Washington Post’s requests for comment on the festivals dropping him from their lineups.
The decisions come a week after the 29-year-old rapper, whose real name is Jonathan Kirk, directed homophobic and sexist comments to those in the LGBTQ community and people with HIV/AIDS during his set at the Rolling Loud festival in Miami Gardens, Fla. DaBaby — who has risen to mainstream fame over the past couple of years and has amassed six Grammy nominations — encouraged those in attendance to raise their cellphone lights on the condition that they weren’t gay men or affected by HIV/AIDS, inaccurately stating that the disease would “make you die in two to three weeks.”
The remarks were made after he brought out Tory Lanez, the rapper charged last year with assaulting Megan Thee Stallion, who had just performed at the festival herself. In June, Megan expressed her disappointment with men who “support me in private and publicly do something different” after DaBaby reportedly retweeted a joke about Lanez shooting Megan.
As video of his comments at Rolling Loud was shared on social media, DaBaby was emphatically rebuked by fans and celebrities alike in the last week. In an Instagram Live in which he tried to defend himself, the rapper ended up making additional homophobic statements. On Tuesday, DaBaby tweeted that those with HIV/AIDS had “the right to be upset” and said to “the LGBT community … y’all business is y’all business.”
DaShawn Usher, GLAAD’s associate director of communities of color, slammed DaBaby’s rhetoric as “inaccurate, hurtful, and harmful to the LGBTQ community and the estimated 1.2 million Americans living with HIV.” Artists in the music industry were quick to condemn DaBaby, including pop singer Dua Lipa, with whom he collaborated last year on a remix of her popular song “Levitating.”
“I know my fans know where my heart lies and that I stand 100% with the LGBTQ community,” she wrote on her Instagram story, saying she was “surprised and horrified” by his comments. “We need to come together to fight the stigma and ignorance around HIV/AIDS.”
The backlash hit new heights when Elton John, a prominent advocate for HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention, noted that the misinformation spread by DaBaby “fuels stigma and discrimination and is the opposite of what our world needs to fight the AIDS epidemic.”
“Homophobic and HIV mistruths have no place in our society and industry and as musicians, we must spread compassion and love for the most marginalized people in our communities,” John wrote in tweets that included scientifically accurate information. “A musician’s job is to bring people together.”
Madonna, a longtime ally of the LGBTQ community, debunked DaBaby’s falsehoods and directed a blunt message to DaBaby on Instagram: “People like you are the reason we are still living in a world divided by fear.” Questlove, the Roots drummer who recently directed the music documentary “Summer of Soul,” about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, said the misinformation pushed by DaBaby “was not cool at all.”
“Somebody Gotta say it: Homophobia/Transphobia/Xenophobia/Misogyny/Racism — this should go w/o saying is morally wrong,” Questlove wrote.
The Governors Ball announcement is the third time in recent days that DaBaby has been removed from a music festival. Before Lollapalooza, the rapper was quietly scrapped from the Parklife festival in Manchester, England, though his representative previously told The Post that he pulled out of the festival more than six weeks ago because of covid-19 restrictions.
This post has been updated.