Stormzy has given credit where it’s due and apologised for a hasty tweet in which he claimed that he was “the first black British artist to headline Glastonbury”.
Sent in a flurry of social media activity just prior to taking the Pyramid stage on Friday, the text (dutifully repeated by the media) overlooked the fact that Skunk Anansie headlined back in 1999.
And the lead singer of that band is the awesome black activist and LGBT campaigner Skin. (iSingmag wrote about her on International Women’s Day).
Here are Skunk Anansie singing Weak back in 1999.
In pointing the error out to Stormzy, Skin was gracious. “You’re amazing and we’re all very proud” she said before adding “real question is why it took 20 years”.
And she does have a point. It’s hard to believe that there has been a 20-year gap between black British artists headlining Glasto.
Let’s hope Stormzy’s blinding performance will prove to be a gamechanger and it won’t take another two decades to get a black British artist back in the top slot.
Interestingly, much like Skin, whose hits include Intellectualize My Blackness, Stormzy is not afraid to get political. He delivered his slot this year in a stab proof vest emblazoned with a Union Jack. It was created by the artist Banksy and highlighted the rate of knife crime on the streets of Britain.
Diversity in festival line-ups
Glastonbury co-organiser Emily Eavis is under pressure to ensure more diversity in Glastonbury’s line-up. She has already pledged to improve gender representation and this year 42% of the acts on the bill were female. But as always, the devil is in the detail.
The three top slots headlining the Pyramid stage this year went to men – Stormzy, the Killers and the Cure – while Janet Jackson, Miley Cyrus and Kylie were in less prominent slots.