Radio stations dump songs post-Sandy Hook shooting
North American radio stations are tweaking their playlists in the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
"Die Young", a party anthem by Ke$ha has been dropped by stations across the US & Canada.
In Toronto, 99.9 Virgin Radio Music Director Cory Balash says they too opted not to play the song over the weekend.
Balash says while the song isn't actually about young death, Ke$ha repeats the line "die young" a lot & he felt it wouldn't be right to play, because of the ages of the victims in the Newton, CT shooting.
When deciding whether or not to yank a song because of a news event, Balash considers listener input, social media, what comparable radio stations are doing, the feeling of staff & media coverage.
Balash & a team of colleagues re-evaluated "Die Young" on Monday & put it back into the Virgin rotation.
It isn't a chart-topper anymore, but many radio stations have also stopped playing one of the biggest pop songs of 2011--Foster the People's "Pumped Up Kicks".
The song tells the story of a boy who finds a gun in his dad's closet & plots a mass-shooting. The chorus includes the lyrics "You better run, better run, outrun my gun" & "You better run, better run, faster than my bullet".
Balash says 999 Virgin Radio was flooded with complaints about the song this summer, when the station played it after the Eaton Centre shooting. It was yanked from the air.
Cory Balash says as music director, he has to make decisions about what songs to play based on current events more often than you might think.
He says the biggest example is Rihanna & on-again, off-again boyfriend, fellow singer Chris Brown.
Given the couple's history of domestic violence, Balash says he has to consider if it's "right" to be playing either of their songs.
He says sometimes it is, because the strength of a song outweighs public outcry.