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Protesters Force Label to Pull Ashanti's Bloody Viral Video

June 12, 2008 9:15 AM ET

A group of protesters as confused/offended as we were about Ashanti's murderous viral video stormed the Universal/Motown offices in Los Angeles yesterday, ultimately convincing the label to shut down the website that housed the clip. The decision to close the site came after the protesters, comprised mostly of concerned parents and religious leaders, told Universal that they would picket the singer during her scheduled performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner" before Game 5 of the Lakers/Celtics NBA Finals series at Los Angeles' Staples Center. Clicking on Ashanti's offending "Gotchagram" now re-routes fans to Ashanti's official site and not the video that mysteriously boasted "Black children will die."

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Song Stories

“Madame George”

Van Morrison | 1968

One of the first stream-of-consciousness epics to make it onto a Van Morrison record, his drawn-out farewell to the eccentric "Madame George" lasted nearly 10 minutes, combining ingredients from folk, jazz and classical music. The character that gave the song its title provoked speculation that it was about a drag queen, though Morrison denied this in Rolling Stone. "If you see it as a male or a female or whatever, it's your trip," he remarked. "I see it as a ... a Swiss cheese sandwich. Something like that."

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