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6 Musicians Who’ve Spoken Out — And Landed Themselves In Hot Water
September 15, 2013
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6. Neil Young Compares Fort McMurray To Hiroshima

Neil Young at the September 9 press conference where he made the controversial statements (Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)
On Thursday, we told you about the backlash that Neil Young provoked when he voiced his displeasure with the development of the oil sands in Alberta. For saying that Fort McMurray looks like Hiroshima, Young was banned on a local rock radio station, as well as a "Sweet Home Alabama"–style retort.

5. The Dixie Chicks Express Their Distaste For Their Commander-In-Chief

Shreveport country radio host K. C. Daniels organized an anti-Dixie Chicks rally (Photo: Mario Villafuerte/Getty Images)

At a concert in London in the lead-up to the 2003 war in Iraq, Dixie Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines told the crowd: "We do not want this war, this violence. And we're ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas." Cue the instant backlash, with death threats, radio boycotts and even a mass-bulldozing of their albums organized by a Shreveport, La. radio station.

4. Sinéad O'Connor Protests The Catholic Church


(Photo: Getty Images)

Nearly 21 years on, the image is iconic: a shaven-headed, 25-year-old Sinéad O'Connor performs a dramatic a cappella cover of Bob Marley's "War" on <em>Saturday Night Live</em> and then tears apart a photo of Pope John Paul II before declaring "Fight the real enemy!" During the show's opening monologue the next week, Joe Pesci held up a taped-together copy of the same photo, and then proceeded to tear up a different photo &mdash; of O'Connor.

3. Ted Nugent Speaks Out About... Everything


(Photo: Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

Sure, the Nuge has had a long association with the anti-drug program DARE, but he's also repeatedly gotten in hot water for his views on animals rights ("I'm stymied to come up with anything funnier than people who think animals have rights. Just stick an arrow through their lungs"); gun rights ("The Second Amendment of our Bill of Rights is my Concealed Weapons Permit, period."); and homosexuality ("I'm repulsed at the concept of man-on-man sex, I think it's against nature."). He was investigated by the Secret Service after making anti-Obama statements.

2. Madonna Defends Gay Rights In Russia

(Photo: MIKHAIL METZEL/AFP/Getty Images)

At a concert in Moscow last year, Madonna taunted Russian authorities for the country's laws against "homosexual propaganda," declaring: "Where's all my gay kids tonight? Tonight, this is my house, Russia. You can be gay in my house." In response, the country's Prosecutor General accused her of breaking visa laws &mdash; which could keep her out of the country for good.

1. Kanye Vents A Little Steam During A Telethon

In the days before Kayne West became a walking, talking outrage machine ("Yo Taylor, I'm really happy for you, Imma let you finish..."), he was invited to participate in a post-Katrina telethon. After expressing his frustration for how black people were portrayed in the media in the wake of the storm, West went wildly off script and blurted out: "George Bush doesn't care about black people!" &mdash; and NBC immediately cut away to a shocked Chris Tucker. Bush later called the incident one of the "most disgusting" moments of his presidency.

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