Ke$ha & Foster The People Dropped By Radio Stations

Not surprisingly, in light of the tragic Sandy Hook shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, Foster The People’s “Pumped Up Kicks”, has been dropped by radio stations. Given its lyrics, “All the other kids with the pumped up kicks / You better run, better run, outrun my gun … better run faster than my bullet,” it’s the sensitive thing to do.

Also receiving a ‘no play’ status at several stations, especially in the regions nearby the shootings, is Ke$ha’s “Die Young.” Even though it’s a pop dance track about seizing the day, some might misinterpret the title as being inappropriate, reveal a few radio spokespeople. Surprisingly, David Guetta’s “Titanium” with its “bulletproof” line is also getting the axe. I guess you can probably add La Roux’s “Bulletproof” to that list.

On the flip side, several songs have seen an increase in airplay since the tragedy. Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven,” Bette Midler’s “Wind Beneath My Wings” and Whitney Houston’s “Greatest Love of All,” have all received more requests than normal, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Sound bites featuring words from President Obama’s speech on Sunday night set to the music of Lifehouse’s “Aftermath” and White Lion’s “When The Children Cry” have played on WDAQ in Danbury, Connecticut.

Speaking of commemorative recordings, did you see last night’s moving tribute on The Voice. The show’s judges and contestants performed Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” while holding cards with names of those who perished from the brutal shootings. Though relatively short, the performance was beyond powerful. Christina Aguilera’s solo was EVERYTHING. I go tingles and shed a couple of tears. When X-Tina utilizes her voice, nothing even comes close. Check out the performance below.

The Voice ‘Hallelujah’ Sandy Hook Tribute

Ke$ha ‘Die Young’ Music Video

Foster The People ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ Music Video

  • Miguel

    Art is not to blame… Stop selling guns!

  • Henry

    this is stupid.

  • Van-Citay

    powerful cover from the voice cast.
    Wow really… so stopping songs playing on the radio having somewhat of a reference to guns or seizing the day is going to stop gun violence. Stupidest thing ever

  • What a bunch of bullshit… Maybe you should focus more and stopping insane people and guns…. I dont think pulling a song out from air time will stop violence or stop people from reminding about the fact that a insane gunman just gunned down a whole lot of poor children en adults… Blech… Its so backwards…

  • Josh

    Anyone too delicate to survive hearing a Kesha song that has literally nothing to do with school shootings needs to be kept away from normal society because they’re obviously not capable of functioning like an adult. It’s a SONG, get over yourself

  • Daniel

    I work in radio, and as silly as it seems to some people, it’s just something we can do to help people grieve. It’s not like the songs will never get played again… they’re just being removed from playlists for a short time so that themes of the songs (or key words) don’t remind people of this tragic event.

  • Joshua

    @Daniel: While I appreciate the kindness with which I’m sure the removal of the songs is done, I’m not sure I agree that it helps people grieve to shelter them from any reference that might somehow remind them of what happened. I don’t doubt that radio stations’ intentions were absolutely the best; I just think that part of the grieving process is processing what happened.

    I think part of what makes it sound so absurd is that “Die Young,” currently the second most played song on U.S. pop radio, is being summarily dropped not because of its actual lyrics in context but because the words out of context could remind people of the awful occurrence. (I can better understand removing “Pumped Up Kicks” from local playlists, because it’s so on the nose, but with its age, it was unlikely receiving many spins anyhow.) Even if the removal is only for a short time, where exactly do you draw the line that it should be re-introduced? When have people been given enough time to grieve that the song could be any more appropriate than it is today?

    What I would think would remind people less of the awful tragedy that has befallen them is if the world kept turning. Maybe that’s just my own grieving mechanism, though. When my mom died, being hugged and pitied by everyone I came in contact with was well-intentioned but made me feel worse than if everyone had treated me as they would normally. I suppose everyone grieves in their own way. But if that’s so, then shouldn’t radio continue to play as it would and let each person manage her grief in her own way, either by switching the dial or letting it play?

  • Daniel

    @Joshua: Oh, I don’t disagree that we need to move on, but it’s not even been a week yet.

    Tragedy and loss are processed so many different ways by different people. You could say that 70, 80, maybe even 99% of the people who heard “Die Young” wouldn’t even think to put two and two together, but there ARE people out there who would think playing a song with that title would be in bad taste so soon after an incident like this.

    As much as it sucks to fans of a certain songs, radio is still a business. The last thing we want to do is lose a listener because they feel it’s insensitive to play a certain song following a tragedy.

  • zurvivor

    Foster the people were lucky that they released this song so long ago. Kesha just get the bad luck this time.