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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

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

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