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The Black Madonna
courtesy of Instagram/@blackmadonnachi

The Black Madonna pulls out of an Amazon-backed music festival

The DJ says she was ‘shocked and hurt’ by her association with the event backed by Amazon Web Services, citing links to ICE and Homeland Security

The Black Madonna – an acclaimed and vocal DJ – has pulled out of performing at Las Vegas’s Intersect Festival after discovering the event’s relationship with Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS’s ties to ICE and Homeland Security are well-documented, with the tech giant hosting DHS databases that help track and apprehend immigrants.

“I was never formally or informally advised of any Amazon branding,” the DJ writes in a statement posted this morning (October 19). 

“The offer I accepted did not propose any kind of brand partnership. I am profoundly disappointed that anyone, at any level, in the long chain of people between the offer I saw and the eventual promotion of this event presumed I would.”

“Clearly, I was shocked and hurt when press and promotional materials appeared with my name on an event presented by AWS yesterday.”

She then goes on to describe the issue as: “a moral and ethical transgression against my work, my faith and most importantly the people I stand with.” (She’s a global ambassador for Help Refugees and donates 100% of merch sales to refugee assistance, among other charitable acts.)

“I am in total solidarity with the demonstrators, workers, other tech laborers, and immigrants and all people of conscience in calling for and (sic) end to corporate digital collaboration with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Department of Homeland Security.”

“I am in a position to say that will not agree to perform at an AWS branded event. I know that position isn’t an option for all artists. Respect to all of you, in any case.”

Artists including Kacey Musgraves, Jamie xx, JPEGMAFIA, Anderson .Paak, Flying Lotus, and Thundercat are still slated to perform at the festival December 6-7.

Read The Black Madonna’s full statement below.