Participation unclear in Wonder-backed boycott of Florida

Some of the artists reportedly joining Stevie Wonder in a boycott of Florida over the state's “stand your ground” law say they are not participating or were unaware of the protest, according to multiple media reports.

Jay Z, Justin Timberlake, the Rolling Stones and Rihanna were among the artists were originally were said to be taking part in the boycott. Now that is unclear.

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The American Urban Radio Network's April Ryan reported Monday that a source close to Wonder told her that top artists, including Usher, Timberlake, Jay Z and Kanye West, were joining the legendary singer-songwriter in boycotting the state following the George Zimmerman verdict.

Other acts reportedly boycotting the state included the Rolling Stones, Rihanna, and Madonna. 

But on Tuesday, Ryan updated her report to say that since “publishing that list I have heard from several representatives of the artists named who say, on behalf of their clients, they are uncomfortable being identified on that list and are seeking additional information.”

Mother Jones reached out to representatives for some of the artists, who reported that they were unaware of the reported boycott movement.

A source with knowledge of the situation told the magazine that Rihanna was not joining the reported boycott, and a spokesperson for the Rolling Stones said "nobody's heard anything about this."

And organizers of an Aug. 16 concert in Miami say that Jay Z and Justin Timberlake both still plan to perform, according to a television station there.

Ryan's original story said some of the recording artists listed had already canceled shows in the state, although she did not list which ones had pulled the plug.

Wonder announced his intended boycott the day after a Florida jury acquitted George Zimmerman of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges stemming from the death of Trayvon Martin.

“I decided today that until the 'stand your ground' law is abolished in Florida, I will never perform there again,” he said. “As a matter of fact, wherever I find that law exists, I will not perform in that state or in that part of the world.

“For those that we have lost in the battle for justice, wherever that fits in any part of the world — we can't bring them back,” he continued. “[What] we can do is we can let our voices be heard. And we can vote in our various countries throughout the world for change and equality for everybody. That's what I know we can do.”

Other musicians have signaled their support for Martin: Bruce Springsteen dedicated a song to “justice for Trayvon Martin” during a concert in Limerick, Ireland, while Jay Z and Beyonce met with Martin's parents during a rally in New York City.

The “stand your ground” self-defense laws in Florida and two dozen other states allow individuals to defend themselves without requiring them to attempt to evade or retreat from a dangerous situation.

Although Zimmerman did not specifically employ a “stand your ground” law defense, the trial has brought a renewed scrutiny to the statutes.