Ke$ha‘s latest single, “Die Young,” which contains the chorus “we’re gonna die young” (and also, unrelated, this line: “that magic in your pants, it’s making me blush”), has been pulled from many radio playlists after the awful, no-adjectives-can-adequately-describe events in Newtown, CT last Friday.
An apologetic Ke$ha took to Twitter to express remorse over her song’s ill-timed phrasing: “I’m so so so sorry for anyone who has been effected [sic] by this tragedy. and I understand why my song is now inappropriate. words cannot express.” According to Billboard, in an earlier Tweet (which has since been deleted), the singer claimed she had been pressured to include the controversial lyrics, stressing “I did NOT want to sing those lyrics and I was FORCED TO.”
Similarly, radio stations in Connecticut and LA also removed Foster the People‘s “Pumped Up Kicks” from regular rotation, since the song somewhat infamously references a school shooting in its lyrics: “All the other kids, with the pumped up kicks / you better run, better run, outrun my gun.”
Obviously, these facts are stupidly inconsequential in the grand scheme of things: “Die Young” saw an 11% decline in radio play over the weekend and “Pumped Up Kicks” was still being played somewhere and is now not being played anywhere (except maybe as a misguided jingle at your local Footlocker). However, it does illustrate the reach that such a horrific tragedy has across the pop culture landscape; and, as Hypetrak points out, our ongoing attempts to maintain tact even within the most tactless corners of the entertainment industry.