On Tuesday (July 19), the festival unveiled its full lineup, which included the newly announced Jones on the bill. “An icon at the heart of the art, fashion and music worlds across four decades, Grace Jones will headline the first AFROPUNK London with a cosmic performance. Since the ’70s, Grace has carved her path as a true creator,” the festival said in its announcement.
On Friday, festival organizers released a statement that M.I.A. would no longer be headlining the festival following controversial statements the artist made via Twitter that were believed to be criticizing the Black Lives Matter movement.
“We are excited and honored to do our first AFROPUNK Festival in London and want to do it right. After discussing the situation with the artist and the community, a decision was agreed upon by all involved that M.I.A. will no longer headline AFROPUNK London,” read the statement.
M.I.A’s comments led to much backlash and threats of boycotting the festival if the artist was permitted to perform.
The Afropunk festival in London is also set to include Laura Mvula, SZA, The Noisettes and Benjamin Booker.