Demi Lovato and Elton John Address DaBaby's Homophobic Comments and HIV Misinformation

DaBaby has been widely criticized for comments he made during his recent Rolling Loud set, as well as for how he initially reacted to that criticism.


Image via Getty/Rich Fury/OBB Media


The fallout continues in the wake of DaBaby’s recent homophobic comments, which have already been publicly condemned by previous collaborators Dua Lipa and Lil Nas X. Demi Lovato and Elton John are the latest artists to speak out, with the latter taking the opportunity to direct the public toward actual facts via his nonprofit.

As previously reported, DaBaby—who was also criticized for bringing out Tory Lanez during the same performance—instructed his audience at Rolling Loud on Sunday to put their lighters in the sky “if you didn’t show up today with HIV, AIDS, or any of them deadly sexually transmitted diseases.” Getting more specific, DaBaby also made a derogatory reference to oral sex.

“Fellas, if you ain’t sucking dick in the parking lot, put your cellphone lighter up,” he said at the time.

From there, DaBaby was criticized as having made things even worse with how he chose to react to the ensuing controversy. By Wednesday, the situation seemed poised to continue. 

Late Tuesday night, Lovato—who came out as non-binary in a special message to fans back in May—shared a repost of a DaBaby-tagged Instagram post from Matt Bernstein, featuring “HIV is not a gay disease” written on a chest.

“‘Hot people listen to the original version of levitating,’” they wrote in the caption of the repost, as seen below, referencing the Dua Lipa song that featured DaBaby on the remix.

Meanwhile, Elton John—whose farewell tour continues later this year—shared a statement through his Elton John AIDS Foundation criticizing DaBaby for sharing “HIV misinformation and homophobic statements” at his show. Using his platform in this manner, John’s statement added, “fuels stigma and discrimination.” From there, John—a known hip-hop fan—and his team laid out the facts, first noting that HIV has affected tens of millions of people around the world, including men, women, and children.

“Homophobic and HIV mistruths have no place in our society and industry and as musicians, we must spread compassion and love for the most marginalized people in our communities,” John’s statement, shared Wednesday and available in full below, said. “A musician’s job is to bring people together.”

On Tuesday evening, DaBaby said his own comments were “insensitive” while also claiming he had “no intentions” of offense.

In addition to fellow artists, DaBaby’s comments have been condemned by boohooMAN, a brand with whom the Grammy nominee had recently announced a collaboration. In a statement shared on Wednesday, a rep for the brand said it will “no longer be working with” DaBaby.

Anybody who done ever been effected by AIDS/HIV y’all got the right to be upset, what I said was insensitive even though I have no intentions on offending anybody. So my apologies 🙏🏾

But the LGBT community... I ain’t trippin on y’all, do you. y’all business is y’all business.

— DaBaby (@DaBabyDaBaby) July 27, 2021

(1/5) We've been shocked to read about the HIV misinformation and homophobic statements made at a recent DaBaby show. This fuels stigma and discrimination and is the opposite of what our world needs to fight the AIDS epidemic.

The facts are:

— Elton John (@eltonofficial) July 28, 2021


👉 HIV has affected over 70 million people globally: men, women, children and the most vulnerable people in our communities.

— Elton John (@eltonofficial) July 28, 2021


👉 In America, a gay black man has a 50% lifetime chance of contracting HIV. Stigma and shame around HIV and homosexuality is a huge driver of this vulnerability. We need to break down the myths and judgements and not fuel these.

— Elton John (@eltonofficial) July 28, 2021


👉 You can live a long and healthy life with HIV. Treatment is so advanced that with one pill a day, HIV can become undetectable in your body so you can’t pass it onto other people.

— Elton John (@eltonofficial) July 28, 2021


👉 Homophobic and HIV mistruths have no place in our society and industry and as musicians, we must spread compassion and love for the most marginalised people in our communities.

A musician’s job is to bring people together.

— Elton John (@eltonofficial) July 28, 2021

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