Musicians have been making statements about some of the world’s most primitive anti-LGBTQ laws by overtly breaking them with some PDA. Last month in Russia, Rammstein guitarists Paul Landers and Richard Kruspe kissed onstage during a concert, defying the country’s “gay propaganda” laws, which forbid such public acts of “nontraditional sexual relations” (non-citizens can be punished for violations with jail time, fines and deportation). More recently, Matt Healy of the AltPop band The 1975 faced penalty in Dubai — where homosexuality is illegal — after sharing a hug and kiss with a male fan who’d asked the singer to marry him. He reportedly also stated on stage that “If you’re gay, I love you.” Punishments vary, but previous reports have shown that people of the same sex who have kissed or touched in public have faced jail sentences ("male sodomy" there can result in the death penalty). It was The 1975’s first show in the UAE and Healy tweeted afterward that it could be their last after his “behaviour.”
WARM: Jay-Z Says, “No, They’re Cool Now”
One of the NFL’s highest-profile critics has now joined forces with the pro-football league. Music superstar Jay-Z has been bad-mouthing the NFL for the past few years for its alleged blacklisting of Colin Kaepernick after the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback spoke out against racial injustice. Last year, the league received more backlash after getting Maroon 5 to headline the Super Bowl’s halftime show in the black music haven of Atlanta. Jay-Z and his entertainment company, Roc Nation, reportedly have now signed what stands to be a big-money consultation deal (numbers haven't been revealed yet) for live music events (including the Super Bowl halftime bookings) and they will also be involved in Inspire Change, the NFL’s new initiative that deals with issues of social justice in the wake of the Kaepernick controversy and subsequent calls for a boycott.
COLD: X-Man Ozzy
A new claim — which seems somehow both unnecessarily mean-spirited and wildly flattering — is being made in a forthcoming book that says, plainly, “Ozzy (Osbourne) is a genetic mutant.” That’s the conclusion of genetic researcher Bill Sullivan, who writes about his studies in Pleased to Meet Me: Genes, Germs and the Curious Forces that Make Us Who We Are. Based on a study of Ozzy’s DNA done in 2010 in an effort to deduce how he’s managed to live so long despite hardcore substance abuse that would’ve killed most anyone else, Sullivan uses Osbourne as an example of how we all can be genetically predisposed to having a wide range of character traits — from being sweet tooth-prone to our political proclivities.