The creators of some of my favorite songs have sordid histories of abusing women. John Lennon (“Imagine”) confessed in a Playboy interview that: “I used to be cruel to my woman. I beat her and kept her apart from the things that she loved…I was a hitter…” Bob Marley (“One Love” “Three Little Birds”) never admitted to anything in interviews, but in her book “No Woman No Cry: My life with Bob Marley” Rita claims: After leaving Bob because of his many public affairs and fathering children with some of his concubines, “Bob wouldn’t take no for an answer. He said to me: ‘No, you’re my wife and you’re supposed to.’ So he forced himself on me. I call that rape. Afterwards, I felt so terrible. I screamed at him: I hate you! I hate you!” Am I betraying sisterhood; displaying a lack of solidarity with the victims of domestic violence? Or, am I simply a fan separating the man from the music?
Just because artists write and sing beautiful, iconic songs does not mean they should be worshipped as gods. They are imperfect humans. Some people like to put artists up on a pedestal; then take morbid pleasure in tearing them down when the artists display illegal or immoral acts.
Does it matter who the music is channeled through? Great music inspires, empowers, encourages us to imagine, love, and “don’t worry about a thing; cause every little thing gonna be all right.”