Country Stars Plan To Continue Playing In North Carolina

Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Ringo Starr and other artists plan to skip North Carolina performances as part of a musicians’ boycott over a new law that limits protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, but several stars at Sunday’s American Country Countdown Awards said they plan to stand by their fans.

“We love North Carolina and our fans there so we’re gonna play,” said group/duo of the year winner Tyler Hubbard of Florida Georgia Line. “We are going to be there. For sure.”

Photo: Laura Roberts / Invision / AP
"All For The Hall Benefit," Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tenn.

North Carolina recently adopted a law that blocks local and state protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people at their jobs and in public accommodations and requires transgender people to use bathrooms corresponding to their sex at birth. Other musicians such as Cyndi Lauper and Mumford and Sons have said they will continue their shows in the state and donate proceeds to LGBT organizations.

“Frankly, I don’t have time to sweat things like that,” singer Chris Janson told The Associated Press. “I think there are bigger things in the world to be thinking about. So I think you can kind of get where I lean on that subject, right? You have to perform for the fans!”

“We’re not going in the bathroom. We’re just going to go on a stage,” added Janson’s wife, Kelly Lynn.

Other musicians like Chris Lane and Scotty McCreery said they’d never cancel a show in their home state.

“I’m not in politics, but it’s my home state. I love it there,” McCreery said. “I’ve got a show coming up in June.”

“Burning House” singer Cam, who was nominated for female vocalist of the year and breakthrough female vocalist, said it was important to be there for fans that may be affected by the law.

“I think for some artists they feel like they can make a difference with their business and some artists feel like they can make a difference being there and supporting their fans that are part of the community,” Cam said. “Why leave them alone? So yeah, it’s kind of a hard thing. I don’t actually have to make that choice currently, but I feel like I’d like to go there just to be with my fans.”

Opposition has been loud and extensive to the law, adopted in March. States and major cities have banned public employees from optional travel to North Carolina, PayPal reversed plans to open a 400-employee operation center in Charlotte and more than 160 corporate CEOs signed a letter urging the law’s repeal.