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Rolling Stones remove controversial song, 'Brown Sugar,' from tour setlist

2 years 8 months 4 days ago Thursday, October 14 2021 Oct 14, 2021 October 14, 2021 4:20 AM October 14, 2021 in News
Source: LA Times

The Rolling Stones song 'Brown Sugar' has been criticized for years.

Written primarily by Mick Jagger, the tune is the opening track and lead single from the band's 1971 album, 'Sticky Fingers.'

Its lyrics bring listeners in with opening lines about enslaved Africans, violence against Black women, and as the song goes on, the words appear to encourage the sexualization of Black women.

Mick Jagger told the Los Angeles Times the Rolling Stones have decided to phase the song out of their concert lineups.

"We've played 'Brown Sugar' every night since 1970, so sometimes you think, 'We'll take that one out for now and see how it goes,'" he said. "We might put it back in."

Keith Richards told the Times he didn't understand the controversy and hopes to resurrect some version of the song in the future.

"I'm trying to figure out with the sisters quite where the beef is. Didn't they understand this was a song about the horrors of slavery? But they're trying to bury it. At the moment I don't want to get into conflicts with all of this sh**," he said. "But I'm hoping that we'll be able to resurrect the babe in her glory somewhere along the track."

The song's lyrics make some uncomfortable as they feel its stereotypical undertones paint Black women in a negative light.

"I never would write that song now," Jagger told Rolling Stone in 1995. "I would probably censor myself."

The Rolling Stones are in the midst of their "No Filter Tour," with stops in North American cities scheduled through November. 

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