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DaBaby dropped from ACL Fest 2021 lineup after homophobic comments

Austin City Limits Music Festival is the latest large music event to drop rapper DaBaby, following homophobic comments and disparaging remarks about people living with AIDS that he made on stage during his set at Rolling Loud festival on July 25 in Miami. 

A post to the fest's Twitter account on Tuesday morning announced that the popular rapper will no longer be performing at the festival and promised a lineup update coming soon. 

DaBaby was supposed to headline both Sundays of the festival, which is scheduled to take place Oct. 1-3 and 8-10 in Zilker Park. Both weekends of ACL Fest are sold out. 

The move comes after ACL's sister festival Lollapalooza — which is also produced by Austin-based company C3 Presents — dropped DaBaby over the weekend.  

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"Lollapalooza was founded on diversity, inclusivity, respect, and love. With that in mind, DaBaby will no longer be performing at Grant Park tonight," festival organizers said in a tweet posted to the official Lollapalooza account on Sunday. 

ACL Fest is the fourth large festival to cancel DaBaby's appearance. Governor's Ball in New York and Day N Vegas Festival in Las Vegas both dropped the rapper on Monday. 

In the middle of his Rolling Loud set on July 25, DaBaby asked fans to put their cell phones in the air “if you didn’t show up today with HIV/AIDS or any of them deadly sexually transmitted diseases that will make you die in two to three weeks.” He went on to make derogatory comments about gay men. 

DaBaby performs during Rolling Loud at Hard Rock Stadium on July 25, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Florida.

A social media backlash exploded in the days following his comments with other famous musicians calling him out for his insensitivity. Pop star Dua Lipa, who featured DaBaby on a remix of her song "Levitating," said she was "horrified" about his remarks in a post to her Instagram stories, while music icon Elton John published a Twitter thread saying "HIV misinformation and homophobia have no place for in the music industry." 

"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," John said in his thread. 

Questlove, bandleader of the legendary hip-hop act the Roots, called out DaBaby in an Instagram post: "Right is right & his actions are wrong. Somebody Gotta say it: Homophobia/Transphobia/Xenophobia/Misogyny/Racism — this should go w/o saying is morally wrong."

The controversy around DaBaby grew deeper when he released the song and video "Giving What It's Supposed to Give" on July 28. At the end of the video, the words "Don't fight hate with hate" appear on a text pane in rainbow colored letters. Underneath, it reads, "My apologies for being me the same way you want the freedom to be you."

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On Monday, as festivals began to drop the rapper, he issued a second apology on an Instagram text slide. After a defensive paragraph about the speed with which social media moves to "demolish you before you even have the opportunity to grow, educate and learn from your mistakes," the rapper apologized for the "hurtful and triggering comments" he made and his "misinformed comments about HIV/AIDS." 

Comments in response to ACL Fest's tweet about DaBaby's canceled appearance at the festival were largely positive shortly after the announcement. Tyler the Creator, Lil Nas X and Dua Lipa topped the list of possible replacements for DaBaby suggested by commenters.