The Rolling Stones are temporarily removing one of their most popular songs from their current tour setlist.
According to USA Today, “Brown Sugar,” will no longer be performed on their current tour, as confirmed by guitarist Keith Richards, due to “conflicts” surrounding the lyrical content, which evoke images of slavery, drugs and sex.
Richards added, “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 shit…but I’m hoping that we’ll be able to resurrect the babe in her glory somewhere along the track.”
Lead Mick Jagger also confirmed to The Guardian that the band would be nixing the song, saying that it was “tough to compile a set list for stadium shows.”
“We’ve played ‘Brown Sugar’ every night since 1970,” Mick Jagger explained. “So sometimes you think, ‘we’ll take that one out for now and see how it goes’. We might put it back in.”
During a 2020 interview with the Rolling Stones, music producer Ian Brennan expressed his disdain for the band’s decision to “play and profit” off the song. In response to their decision to take the controversial song off the list, Brenna told the Guardian:
“That they now retire the song is a victory. But that the band continue to play coy as to the reasons for their decision rather than just making a frank admission of the inappropriateness of the lyrics as the reason why they have chosen to no longer play the song live is an opportunity for healing and leadership missed. The Rolling Stones insistence on continuing to perform the song was not only insensitive, but a prime example of entitlement.”