Demi Lovato, Dave Matthews & Maroon 5 Lead Growing List of Artists Speaking Out on N.C. Bathroom Bill

Demi Lovato at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards
Kevin Winter/Getty Images via ABC

Demi Lovato performs onstage during the 2016 Billboard Music Awards at T-Mobile Arena on May 22, 2016 in Las Vegas.

Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Beyonce and many others have gotten involved.

In light of new laws in several states across the country widely seen as anti-LGBT, many artists are speaking out -- with some even going so far as to cancel concerts to be held in the states where the laws were passed.

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After Bruce Springsteen's Greensboro, North Carolina, concert cancelation, more and more artists have joined in, following suit by scrapping their own shows in North Carolina and Mississippi.

Here is a rundown of many of the artists who have canceled shows or spoken out for the social cause. 

[Editor's note: Following the original posting of this story, Billboard has added some more recent names to the list of artists participating in boycotts and actions against North Carolina.]

Artists who have canceled shows or spoken out against HB2:

Demi Lovato: At Sunday night's 2016 Billboard Music Awards the singer voiced her opposition to North Carolina's "bathroom bill" through a message-sending t-shirt with a gender inclusive symbol, which she will be selling at her merch booth on her upcoming summer tour.

Dave Matthews Band: DMB will play a planned May 27 show in Charlotte, but have pledged to donate a portion of the proceeds to five organizations that work for equality: American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal, ACLU of North Carolina, Equality NC and Time Out Youth. "I know that North Carolina is a state full of good folks and loyal fans, many of whom are angry about and feel misrepresented by this action," he said in a statement. "My band and I will continue to play our show as scheduled there [April 13], and hope that our music unites people in this challenging time."

Joel McHale: The comedian wore a homemade LGBTQ t-shirt to a recent show in Durham and said all proceeds would go to the LGBTQ Center of Durham.


Maroon 5: Adam Levine and co. canceled their upcoming shows in Charlotte and Raleigh because of HB2. "This was a difficult decision for us to make as a band," read a band statement. "We don’t want to penalize our fans in North Carolina by not performing for them, but in the end it comes down to what we feel is morally right."

Beyoncé: Following a recent show in Raleigh, Bey praised those fighting for equality in the state. "North Carolina has been drawing the attention of the masses for new legislation that blocks cities and local governments from passing anti-discrimination measures that could protect gay and transgender people," read a post on her official site. In her statement, Beyonce called out North Carolina lawmakers behind the so-called "Bathroom Bill" for not "accepting the progression in LGBT rights."
98 Degrees: The reunited boy band announced that dates in Charlotte and Raleigh originally included on its MY2K tour with O-Town, Dream and Ryan Cabrera were being dropped.


Louis C.K.: The comedian performed two last-minute sold-out show shows in Asheville in April at the Orange Peel, with proceeds earmarked for several LGBT rights organizations. He will do it again on July 15 when he performs at Greensboro Coliseum, with all proceeds going to Equality NC.


Bryan Adams

Ani DiFranco:
“Today I stand arm in arm with my community, friends, family and fellow citizens in condemning this unjust law. And while I was looking forward to coming to Durham, I can not in good conscience do so at this time. When one of us is oppressed, all of us are oppressed, and only through the strength of our collective action will change occur. I wish to add my voice through this small action to the chorus of all of those working to make our world a more loving and accepting place.”

Bruce Springsteen:
“HB2 — known officially as the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act — dictates which bathrooms transgender people are permitted to use. Just as important, the law also attacks the rights of LGBT citizens to sue when their human rights are violated in the workplace. No other group of North Carolinians faces such a burden. To my mind, it’s an attempt by people who cannot stand the progress our country has made in recognizing the human rights of all of our citizens to overturn that progress. Right now, there are many groups, businesses, and individuals in North Carolina working to oppose and overcome these negative developments. Taking all of this into account, I feel that this is a time for me and the band to show solidarity for those freedom fighters. As a result, and with deepest apologies to our dedicated fans in Greensboro, we have canceled our show scheduled for Sunday, April 10th. Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry — which is happening as I write — is one of them. It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.” 

Ringo Starr:


Artists who have spoken out, but are still performing: 

Against Me!'s Laura Jane Grace:
“I’m going to create an event around the show as a form of protest to say that despite whatever stupid laws they enact, trans people are not going to be scared,” Grace told Buzzfeed. “They are not going to go away.”

Gregg Allman:

Jimmy Buffett:
“North Carolina was there for me as a performer in the early days and I have always felt a loyalty to fans there that goes deep. Rightly so, a lot of people are reacting to the stupid law. I happen to believe that the majority of our fans in North Carolina feel the way I do about that law. I am lucky enough to have found a job in the business of fun. These shows were booked and sold out long before the governor signed that stupid law. I am not going to let stupidity or bigotry trump fun for my loyal fans this year. We will be playing in Raleigh and Charlotte next week.” 

Brandi Carlile:


Bruce Springsteen and North Carolina As I'm crossing over the state line into the beautiful state of Massachusetts where I was legally married to my wife four years ago- I'm contemplating Bruce Springsteen and North Carolina- everywhere I've gone I'm being asked if I plan to cancel my shows. I should start by saying that I want to be Bruce Springsteen when I grow up. Bruce has decided on principal not to go through with his concert because of thinly veiled legislation having been passed that permits the discrimination of my LGBTQ brothers and sisters in NC. I deeply appreciate this, and I want to say on my own behalf thank you for doing what you're doing guys. These are massive shows and this is big business lost for NC- Bruce is not LGBTQ himself- but is bravely defending those of us that are. This is how we've seen the progress that we've seen. As artists it's our responsibility to take cause against those who would oppress our brothers and sisters and defend them using whatever power we possess. Bruce is an artist, but on behalf of NC LGBTQ citizens, also is poignantly depriving NC of the big business his event would bring- well done. For very different reasons I have decided not to cancel my North Carolina shows. I'm a small artist, and I'm gay, many of my fans are gay as well. To cancel my shows in NC would further oppress my fans who are hurt by this legislation, who worked hard to suppress it, and who need a place where they can come together. That's why we intend to be in Wilkesboro, Charlotte, Asheville, and Greensboro this summer. We're going to come together, let our voices be heard, not stand down, and make a joyful noise in the face of this insult of a law. We all have a role to play here. Bruce is playing his beautifully and I respect him. In my own humble way though, I want to witness the protest through music. See you in NC my friends. XoBC @springsteen

A photo posted by Brandi Carlile (@brandicarlile) on

Cyndi Lauper:
"I think the best way I can do my part is to turn my show into an entire day to build public support to repeal HB2," Lauper writes. The singer recently also spoke about why she decided against canceling her concert, noting that "wherever there's a shutout, wherever there's people who don't accept other people, the other people need you."

Mumford & Sons:

Artists who have spoken out:

Lance Bass:
“I’m disappointed in my home state of Mississippi for allowing this awful piece of legislation to hit the Senate floor. This is nothing more than religious homophobia as legislation,” Bass wrote in a press release for Faith in America. “Earlier this year, Mississippi lost Mercedes Williams, a 17-year-old trans girl murdered because she was trans. What is Mississippi’s Senate doing to protect the trans community? Instead of serving all of their constituents, Mississippi is prioritizing the sensitivities of the religious 'wrong' over the lives of LGBT people. I know Mississippi’s community is better than this. It is imperative that Governor Phil Bryant vetoes this bill immediately.”

Billy Ray Cyrus:

Miley Cyrus:


go to my Twitter to learn more about taking a stand against anti-LGBT laws

A photo posted by Miley Cyrus (@mileycyrus) on

Trent Harmon:
"You know, I was brought up in church. I still go to church. Found a church just around the corner from here and went, and I'm glad I got to go. But I was brought up to treat everyone equally," Harmon told TV Guide. "I come from a restaurant background, and anybody that walks into our restaurant, they can eat there. And I think that you should treat all people equally and respectfully, and that's what I do, and that's what I'm going to continue to do no matter what law is passed. That's where I stand on it. Love all people. Period."