Add Ted Nugent to the list of musicians who are distancing themselves from Stevie Wonder’s boycott of Florida.
“Wango Tango” rocker and outspoken conservative Nugent tore into Wonder’s boycott of Florida over that state’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” laws during an interview with Massachusetts radio station WXBR on Wednesday.
Following the acquittal last weekend of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, Stevie Wonder says he won’t perform in Florida or anywhere else that recognizes the “Stand Your Ground” law, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The law permits the use of force for self-defense without an obligation to retreat first.
“I decided today that until the Stand Your Ground law is abolished in Florida, I will never perform there again,” Wonder on Sunday during a concert in Quebec City. “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.”
The singer has also asked that his fans participate in the boycott.
This year’s Billboard Icon Award is going to legendary singer, songwriter and producer Stevie Wonder. The honor will be presented at the 2012 Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas, which airs live May 20 on ABC at 8 p.m. ET from the MGM Grand Arena.
With memberships in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Wonder is one of the most celebrated artists in popular music history. Since bursting onto the scene in 1963 at age 13 with the chart-topping hit “Fingertips (Pt. 2),” Wonder has amassed 32 No. 1 singles and released a string of iconic albums including “Songs in the Key of Life,” “Talking Book” and “Music of My Mind.”
Wonder follows in the footsteps of fellow legend Neil Diamond, who was given the Icon Award at the 2011 ceremony.
Hosted by Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell of the ABC hit comedy “Modern Family,” the BBMAs will also have a star-studded roster of presenters this year. Brandy and Monica, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Sara Ramirez, Wiz Khalifa and Lil Wayne join previously announced presenters Taio Cruz, Gavin DeGraw, Gladys Knight, Julianne Hough, Natasha Bedingfield and Jeremy Sisto, along with musical acts Kelly Clarkson, Linkin Park, Nelly Furtado, Usher, CeeLo Green, Carrie Underwood, Justin Bieber, LMFAO and The Wanted.
Adele, LMFAO, Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Lil Wayne are the leading finalists for awards. Adele takes the lead as a finalist in 18 award categories, while LMFAO is a finalist in 17 categories. Rihanna lands in 13 categories this year, after leading the pack with 18 category appearances in 2011. Lady Gaga and Lil Wayne each snagged a spot in 10 categories.
Tickets for the 2012 Billboard Music Awards are now on sale at Ticketmaster.com and MGMGrand.com. The 2012 Billboard Music Awards will be co-executive produced by Richard D. Beckman, CEO of Prometheus Global Media and Don Mischer Productions.