If you thought you heard a 1960s psychedelic rock goddess singing behind a Chick-fil-A ad during last weekend’s Grammys show, don’t worry. You weren’t hallucinating and no, Grace Slick hasn’t sold out. In fact, the former Jefferson Airplane vocalist agreed to allow the notoriously anti-gay-marriage chicken franchise to license a certain song, and she’s donating all moneys received to Lambda Legal.
“I am donating every dime that I make from that ad to Lambda Legal, the largest national legal organization working to advance the civil rights of LGBTQ people, and everyone living with HIV. Admittedly, it’s not the millions that WinShape has given to organizations that define marriage as heterosexual. But instead of them replacing my song with someone else’s and losing this opportunity to strike back at anti-LGBTQ forces, I decided to spend the cash in direct opposition to ‘Check’-fil-A’s causes – and to make a public example of them, too. We’re going to take some of their money, and pay it back.”
— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) February 22, 2017
Slick’s initial reaction to Chick-fil-A’s request to use the 1987 Jefferson Starship song, “Nothing Gonna Stop Us Now” to peddle chicken sandwiches was an unequivocal, “F**k no!” –After giving it some thought, the 77-year-old psychedelic songstress opted to take the Chick-fil-A money and put it to good use defending LGBTQ rights the controversial chicken chain would just as soon take away, reported Live for Live Music.
“I firmly believe that men should be able to marry men, and women women. I am passionately against anyone who would try to suppress this basic human right. So my first thought when ‘Check’-fil-A came to me was, ‘F**k no!’ But then I decided, ‘F**k yes.'”
In case you missed Grace Slick’s Chick-fil-A Grammy ad, here it is.
Noting that people might think she wrote an op-ed piece in Forbes to “cover her own a**” in the wake of the Grammys, Slick reminded readers that she hasn’t bothered to cover her a** since the day she was born. Slick licensed the Starship song to Chick-fil-A because she wanted to make more than a “ceremonial gesture” by simply declining their offer. Grace also hoped that other musicians would follow her lead and lend their voices to help stop bigotry.
“From the moment I agreed to license the song, I knew I wanted to set an example for other artists. I wanted to tell them, ‘Your art will survive and thrive. Do not let it be used by companies who support intolerance. Don’t be afraid to take a stand. You’re an artist; that’s what we do.'”
Grace Slick and Chick-fil-A are an unlikely pairing, to say the least
Grace Wing Slick’s soaring contralto voice sent the Sixties into the musical stratosphere with songs such as “White Rabbit,” “Volunteers,” and “Somebody to Love.” After Jefferson Airplane disbanded, Slick fronted Jefferson Starship until 1978. In 1987, she lent her voice to the Starship song that was ultimately used in a Chick-fil-A ad. An outspoken advocate of LSD who famously attempted to dose President Richard Nixon at a White House tea party, Grace evinces an in-your-face, up-against-the-wall attitude regarding personal freedom and “doing your own thing.”
By 2012, Chick-fil-A had donated at least $5 million to anti-gay groups, including the Marriage and Family Foundation and Family Research Council, according to The Advocate. Dan Cathy, whose father and grandfather founded Chick-fil-A the same year Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” hit radio airwaves, said his intention was to run the company on “biblical principles.”
“We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that…. We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.”
The fact that Chick-fil-A would deny basic human rights to anyone based on their sexuality or gender identity just doesn’t sit right with Grace Slick. So, the now-white-haired 60’s rockstar is doing something about it.
“See, I come from a time when artists didn’t just sell their soul to the highest bidder, when musicians took a stand, when the message of songs was ‘feed your head,’ not ‘feed your wallet.’ We need that kind of artistic integrity today, more than ever. We won’t produce quality art if we don’t keep ourselves open to all people and possibilities, if we don’t put our money where our mouths are”
[Featured Image by Vince Bucci/Getty Images]