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Rolling Stones Have Stopped Performing Controversial Hit Brown Sugar

Rolling Stones Have Stopped Performing Controversial Hit Brown Sugar

The 50-year-old song contains controversial lyrics about slavery

The Rolling Stones say they will no longer be playing their hit Brown Sugar after 50 years.

The controversial song, which was released in April 1971, was last played at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida in 2019.

The song features the lyrics 'Gold coast slave ship bound for cotton fields/Sold in the market down in New Orleans /Scarred old slaver knows he's doing alright/Hear him whip the women just around midnight'.


Speaking to the Los Angeles Times about why the song was missing from more recent sets, Keith Richards said: "You picked up on that, huh?

"I don't know. 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 s***."

He went on to say the band hope to play it again one day, adding: "But I'm hoping that we'll be able to resurrect the babe in her glory somewhere along the track."

Bandmate Mick Jagger told the publication: "We've played Brown Sugar every night since 1970, so sometimes you think, 'We'll take that one out for now and see how it goes'.

"We might put it back in."

Brown Sugar was written by Richards and Jagger in '45 minutes' at the Muscle Shoals studio in Alabama.

And the controversy surrounding its lyrics is nothing new - back in 1995, Jagger said: "God knows what I'm on about in that song.

"It's such a mishmash. All the nasty subjects in one go."


He added: "I never would write that song now.

"I would probably censor myself. I'd think, 'Oh God, I can't. I've got to stop. I can't just write raw like that'."

The Rolling Stones are currently on the No Filter US tour - the band's first since the death of drummer Charlie Watts, who passed away in August aged 80.

Session and touring musician Steve Jordan, 64, was previously announced as Watts' temporary replacement on drums.

Jordan, who is a multi award-winning music producer, director, songwriter and musician who, is also a member of the X-Pensive Winos, the side project of Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Music