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In a rare interview with The Guardian, Bon Iver‘s Justin Vernon has condemned pop artists that accept corporate sponsorships or promotional deals for hefty amounts of cash. Vernon eventually points out Beyoncé‘s deal with Pepsi as a specific example, questioning her commitment to setting a positive example for her young female fans. “I’d prefer Beyoncé didn’t do a Pepsi tour. Do not take two million dollars from Pepsi and be a role model for young girls. Do not do that. That stuff does anger me. And I feel like I am not afraid to talk about that stuff,” he said.
Vernon also went on to discuss the power of music as a meaningful social and cultural tool, calling touring company Live Nation “bullsh*t.” “I grew up loving bands like the Indigo Girls, and they stood for something, doing benefit shows and talking about sh*t and changing culture or changing people’s mindsets and raising awareness,” he explained. “What’s music for? It’s not about having a bunch of CDs.”
Vernon’s opinion on artist-brand partnerships seems to have evolved; back in 2011, he agreed to a Bushmills ad campaign that essentially allowed him to finish off his recording studio without loaning any money. However, in a 2015 interview with Grantland, he expressed regret over the deal, revealing that “it felt really sickening after a while.” Read Vernon’s interview with The Guardian here.