North Carolina’s controversial HB2 law has seen high profile musicians and performers cancel their upcoming shows in protest. This didn’t stop Duran Duran from performing in the state on Saturday.
According to Billboard, the English band, known for the hits “Hungry Like the Wolf” and “Rio,” considered cancelling their gig at the PNC Pavilion to protest the law which forces trans-gendered individuals to use restrooms that match with their biological gender.
Onstage at the arena, lead singer Simon LeBon spoke to the audience in front of an American flag that donned rainbow colors, addressing the anti-LGBT law.
“With respect to the current storm that is brewing through this state, we considered cancelling our show tonight, but decided to go ahead both for the sake of our fans and to support those in North Carolina who feels as strongly as we do about this issue,” said LeBon, reading from a statement.
On April 14, Duran Duran’s official website published a statement by band members LeBon, John Taylor, Roger Taylor, and Nick Rhodes expressing their solidarity with the LGBT community in North Carolina and condemning the HB2 law.
“Yes here it is again, just plain old fashioned prejudice, fear and oppression, the same old kind that’s blighted the human race, in varying degrees, for all of its history,” said the band. “Duran Duran is opposed to bigotry and discrimination in all of its ugly forms, and so it follows that we are opposed to the basic premise of HB2. We support the rights of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender community, to have equal opportunities.”
Duran Duran posted pictures from the concert on their official Twitter page and in a separate tweet thanked their fans for coming and put up a set list of their show.
Simon LeBon has also encouraged fans to sign a petition that’s been drafted by Equality North Carolina that legislators will be presented with later in the month, as reported by Logo.
“Love Duran Duran but… North Carolina has made it clear that it will not repeal HB2,” read one comment in response. “The only thing that will change the NC Governor and assembly’s mind is a severe economic hit. A petition is interesting and donations to equality organizations are nice but will not have the same impact.”
According to Entertainment Weekly, high profile musicians like Bruce Springsteen and Ringo Starr have cancelled their upcoming shows in the Tar Heel state in protest of the law.
However, along with Duran Duran, Cyndi Lauper isn’t cancelling her concert in Raleigh on June 4 and is donating all the proceeds of the show to Equality North Carolina, who are hoping to get HB2 repealed.
“The best way I know how to make a difference is what I have strived to do my whole life and that is show up for my family, friends, and fans in the LGBT community,” said Lauper in a statement via her official website. “So, for that reason I think the best way I can do my part is to turn my show in Raleigh on June 4th into an entire day to build public support to repeal HB2.”
All of this, though, hasn’t changed North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory’s opinion on the matter when he appeared on Meet the Press on Sunday, as reported by NBC News.
“I do believe in our high schools, in our middle schools, in our universities, we should continue to have the tradition that we’ve been having in this country for years,” said McCrory. “And we have a women’s facility and a men’s facility. You know, it’s worked out pretty well.”
Meanwhile, Duran Duran’s concert in Atlanta featuring an appearance from Nile Rodgers received a rave review from Melissa Ruggieri of The Atlanta Journal Constitution.
“Not many bands can claim to be at the top of their live game this deep into their career, but Duran Duran continues to prove it’s possible,” said Ruggieri.
[Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images]