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Madonna, Questlove, more stars condemn DaBaby's homophobic comments: 'Know your facts'

·6 min read

Madonna, Questlove, Elton John and Dua Lipa are weighing in on the growing controversy surrounding rapper DaBaby's homophobic comments during a recent music festival performance.

Among other derogatory remarks made during his set at the Rolling Loud festival in Miami Sunday, per video provided by TMZ, DaBaby told the audience to raise their cellphone flashlights in the air “if you didn’t show up today with HIV/AIDS or any of them deadly sexually transmitted diseases that will make you die in two to three weeks.”

Days later, the rapper embroiled himself in more controversy after releasing NSFW song and music video "Giving What It's Supposed To Give." In one part of the video, DaBaby holds up a sign that reads "AIDS" as he raps, "(expletive) we like AIDS, I'm on your (expletive), we won't go away."

At the end of the almost five-minute-long video, a final screen reads in rainbow-colored letters: "Don't fight hate with hate. My apologies for being me the same way you want the freedom to be you."

USA TODAY has reached out DaBaby's reps for further comment.

His comments, and subsequent apology, have been met with backlash from fellow musicians. Clothing company BoohooMan has also cut ties with the rapper. Here's what they are saying:

Madonna makes plea for equality

Madonna posted the video to her Instagram page, telling DaBaby, "if you’re going to make hateful remarks to the LGBTQ+ community about HIV/AIDS then know your facts."

She went on to share about the "life saving medicines" now available to people who contract HIV, adding that "no one dies of AIDS in 2 or 3 weeks anymore. Thank God."

The singer also commented on a "sexist" remark DeBaby made about women before making a plea for equality.

"People like you are the reason we are still living in a world divided by fear. All Human beings should be treated with dignity and respect regardless of race, gender, sexual preference or religious beliefs," she wrote.

DaBaby performs on stage during Rolling Loud at Hard Rock Stadium on July 25. The rapper is under fire for comments he made during the show that were captured on video and shared via TMZ.
DaBaby performs on stage during Rolling Loud at Hard Rock Stadium on July 25. The rapper is under fire for comments he made during the show that were captured on video and shared via TMZ.

Elton John says comments fuel 'stigma and discrimination'

John also criticized the rapper for spreading misinformation and took to Twitter to debunk these "myths and judgements" to raise awareness about the AIDS epidemic.

"We've been shocked to read about the HIV misinformation and homophobic statements made at a recent DaBaby show. This fuels stigma and discrimination and is the opposite of what our world needs to fight the AIDS epidemic," he wrote.

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The tweets also included a list of facts about HIV, noting that the "stigma and shame around HIV and homosexuality is a huge driver of this vulnerability."

"You can live a long and healthy life with HIV. Treatment is so advanced that with one pill a day, HIV can become undetectable in your body so you can’t pass it onto other people."

John urged influencers to "spread compassion and love for the most marginalised people in our communities."

"Homophobic and HIV mistruths have no place in our society and industry and as musicians," he wrote. "A musician’s job is to bring people together."

'I've never stopped enjoying singing it': Elton John on 'Your Song' at 50, new rarities box set

Dua Lipa is 'surprised and horrified'

Dua Lipa also responded to the comments made by the rapper, who is featured on a remix of her hit song "Levitating."

Lipa wrote on her Instagram story that she is “surprised and horrified at DaBaby’s comments.”

“I really don’t recognize this as the person I worked with,” Lipa wrote. “I know my fans know where my heart lies and that I stand 100% with the LGBTQ community. We need to come together to fight the stigma and ignorance around HIV/AIDS.”

Dua Lipa's Instagram story response to DaBaby's comments.
Dua Lipa's Instagram story response to DaBaby's comments.

DaBaby’s comments sparked outrage among Lipa’s fanbase, with many fans taking to Twitter to voice their disapproval and some even calling for the rapper’s removal from the “Levitating” remix altogether.

"can we get dua lipa to re-record the levitating remix with @lilnasx instead bc dababy is a homophobe," wrote user @mattxiv.

"petition for dua lipa to remove dababy off “levitating," wrote user @cruzinctrl.

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"DUA LIPA PUT LIL NAS X ON THE LEVITATING REMIX AND WATCH THAT SONG GO NUMBER 1," wrote user @Selinakyle981.

“Levitating” arrived off of Lipa’s sophomore album “Future Nostalgia,” which won Lipa a Grammy for Best Pop Vocal album at this year’s Grammy Awards.

The DaBaby-assisted remix of the song has spent 42 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No.2.

USA TODAY has reached out Lipa's reps for further comment.

More: Dua Lipa slams group that condemned her, Gigi and Bella Hadid for supporting Palestine

Pride Month is over. Here's how to be an ally to the LGBTQ community the rest of the year.

Questlove condemns DaBaby's comments

The Roots drummer Questlove took to social media to update his hypothetical "Summer of Soul" lineup if he could curate his dream list. His new list had DaBaby's name crossed out.

"Right is right & his actions are wrong," he wrote. "Somebody Gotta say it: Homophobia/Transphobia/Xenophobia/Misogyny/Racism——this should go w/o saying is morally wrong."

He added that he was "slow" to publicly criticize the artist and has turned his head at others controversies, but "that (expletive) was not cool at all."

"Y’all gonna learn that there are other human beings living in the space you are," he ended his statement.

DaBaby shared Questlove's post to his Instagram story and responded by saying he does "not know who" Questlove is and does "not care" about losing him as a fan.

'Summer of Soul': How Questlove turned a forgotten music fest into 2021’s most ‘compelling’ documentary

BoohooMan cuts ties with DaBaby

Clothing company BoohooMan also issued a statement in response to the rapper's remarks and decided to cut its ties to DaBaby Wednesday.

"boohooMAN condemn the use of homophobic language and confirm we will no longer be working with DaBaby," the company wrote in a tweet. "We stand by and support the LGBTQ+ community, and do not tolerate any hate speech or discrimination in any form."

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'I can't separate my identities': For LGBTQ people of color, discrimination is worse, researchers say

Who is DaBaby? Meet the chart-topping rapper behind 'Rockstar'

DaBaby apologizes for homophobic comments at Rolling Loud: 'No intentions on offending anybody'

DaBaby attempted to walk back his remarks Monday, according to video obtained by TMZ, saying his comments were a “call to action” instead of a rant, though he went on to make additional derogatory remarks toward the LGBTQ community.

He has since apologized for his comments, insisting he has nothing against the LGBTQ community.

“Anybody who done ever been effected by AIDS/HIV y’all got the right to be upset,” DaBaby tweeted. “What I said was insensitive even though I have no intentions on offending anybody.”

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Contributing: Amy Haneline

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: DaBaby comments: Madonna, Elton John criticize homophobic rant

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