The Rolling Stones recently announced that they would no longer be performing "Brown Sugar" live amid backlash over the lyrics, and now fans are demanding them to reintroduce the hit 1971 song back into their setlist by bombarding the band’s social media accounts with requests.
The calls are loudest on Instagram, where the band's management frequently asks fans to vote for a bonus song to be added to the setlist for upcoming performances.
A shortlist of four songs is added for fans to vote from and although "Brown Sugar" is not an option, this has not stopped supporters from voting for it. The demand has notably grown in the last three weeks, when the band shared that they would be retiring the song.
This is evident with a quick glance at the Stones' Instagram posts, which include copies of the band’s setlist.
"Brown Sugar" is one of the Stones' most-played songs but it has drawn its share of controversy. The lyrics are said to explore the horrors of slavery, as well as sexual assault, and it has drawn widespread criticism.
The band last played the song on Aug. 30, 2019, in Miami, Florida, according to the Daily Mail, but it was notably absent from the Stones' setlist during their current No Filter Tour. When asked about it by the Los Angeles Times, guitarist Keith Richards admitted he did not understand the pushback.
"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 sh*t," he said.
Whether fans will ever hear "Brown Sugar" performed on stage by the Stones again remains a question with no definite answer, but Richards remains hopeful.
"I’m hoping that we’ll be able to resurrect the babe in her glory somewhere along the track," he said.
Lead vocalist Mick Jagger also remained hopeful that the song would make its way back onto the stage.
"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," he said, adding that "the setlist in a stadium show, it’s kind of a tough one."
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