To any Jefferson Starship/Airplane fans out there who were shocked to hear Starship’s 1987 hit “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” in new commercials for Chick-Fil-A, never fear: Your favorite band are notborn-agains.
Singer Grace Slick has explained why the band decided to license the song to the controversial fast-food chain in a new essay published by Forbes. Yes, she is aware that Chick-Fil-A is a famously conservative, Christian-run company that has advocated against same-sex marriage and donated to anti-LGBTQ-rights causes through their charitable wing, The WinShape Foundation. Slick revealed that she explicitly decided to accept the company’s offer to use the song so she could donate the proceeds to a charity that works against Chick-Fil-A’s convictions: Lambda Legal, a non-profit legal organization working on behalf of LGBTQ community and HIV patients.
“I hope more musicians will think about the companies that they let use their songs; we can use our gifts to help stop the forces of bigotry,” Slick concludes.
Here’s an excerpt from Slick’s piece; you can read the rest at Forbes.com.
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. As Jennifer Lopez quoted Toni Morrison during the Grammys telecast, “‘This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self pity, no need for silence, and no room for fear. We do language. That is how civilizations heal.'”
You might think I’m writing this just to cover my ass for allowing a company whose practices many find morally objectionable to use Starship’s music. Well, I haven’t covered my ass since the day I was born (except, maybe, in a pair of white Levi’s). From the moment I agreed to license the song, I knew I wanted to set an example for other artists. I wanted to tell them, “Your art will survive and thrive. Do not let it be used by companies who support intolerance. Don’t be afraid to take a stand. You’re an artist; that’s what we do.”