Elton John has spoken out against DaBaby's recent comments on HIV and AIDS, counteracting his ignorance with a list of cold hard facts.
The North Carolina rapper left the music industry stunned with his offensive rant about the LGBTQ+ community at the weekend, in which he exposed his homophobic beliefs and spread inaccurate information about the AIDS epidemic.
DaBaby made the disturbing comments between songs during his performance at Rolling Loud Miami on Sunday, one of the largest hip-hop festivals to go ahead in the country since the beginning of the pandemic.
"If you didn’t show up today with HIV, AIDS, or any of them deadly sexually transmitted diseases that’ll make you die in two to three weeks, then put your cellphone lighter up," he said. DaBaby followed this statement with derogatory comments about same-sex intimacy and women's bodies.
Elton John was one of the first celebrities to respond to the shocking remarks, taking to social media to condemn the Charlotte rapper's behavior.
"We’ve been shocked to read about the HIV misinformation and homophobic statements made at a recent DaBaby show,” the legendary British musician wrote on behalf of his charity, the Elton John AIDS Foundation. “This fuels stigma and discrimination and is the opposite of what our world needs to fight the AIDS epidemic.”
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Elton outlined a number of key facts about HIV, highlighting its universal nature and impact on those already marginalized in society.
"HIV has affected over 70 million people globally: men, women, children, and the most vulnerable people in our communities," he explained. He then warned of the devastating impact homophobic attitudes can have on the HIV and AIDS crisis: "In America, a gay black man has a 50% lifetime chance of contracting HIV. Stigma and shame around HIV and homosexuality is a huge driver of this vulnerability. We need to break down the myths and judgments and not fuel these."
Elton also took the opportunity to dispel dangerous misinformation about HIV, such as the falsehood that it drastically decreases your lifespan.
"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," he explained.
Elton's condemnation of DaBaby's comments was mirrored by Dua Lipa, who featured the rapper on her hit 2020 song, Levitating.
"I really don't recognize this as the person I worked with. 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," the British pop star wrote on her Instagram story in response to fans' demands that she remove DaBaby from the remix.
DaBaby buckled down on his stance following the backlash, insisting his comments were being taken out of context. He has since lost his collaboration with BooHoo, after teaming up with the fast-fashion brand to release a menswear line in June.
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Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.
Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.
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