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As sure as the sun will rise, we can always count on Jefferson Airplane frontwoman Grace Slick to speak her mind, her razor wit and brutal honesty never allowing her to really give a damn what others think of her long enough to scare her out of sticking to her guns – especially when it comes to things that matter to the 77-year-old rock legend.
Earlier this month fans heard Starship’s 1987 hit “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” in a commercial for Georgia-based food chain Chik-fil-A during the Grammy Awards telecast and were confused; Grace Slick is pretty open about her dislike for Chik-fil-A due to the company’s stance against gay marriage, so why on earth would she license her music to them?
As it turns out, Grace had a plan in mind: Chik-fil-A was allowed to use “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” but every dime received from the ad is being donated to Lambda Legal, the largest national legal organization working to advance the civil rights of LGBTQ people, and everyone living with HIV. In an op-ed written for Forbes magazine she explains her decision and in true Grace Slick fashion, she pulls no punches:
“Instead of them replacing my song with someone else’s and losing this opportunity to strike back at anti-LGBTQ forces, I decided to spend the cash in direct opposition to “Check”-fil-A’s causes – and to make a public example of them, too.
We’re going to take some of their money, and pay it back.”
There’s a larger point to all of this, though, and it’s one Grace wants younger generations of musicians to understand: stick to your guns, especially when it’s hard. “See, I come from a time when artists didn’t just sell their soul to the highest bidder, when musicians took a stand, when the message of songs was “feed your head,” not “feed your wallet.” We need that kind of artistic integrity today, more than ever. We won’t produce quality art if we don’t keep ourselves open to all people and possibilities, if we don’t put our money where our mouths are.”