Tyrese staged a protest concert against iHeartRadio for not playing black R&B artists on mainstream radio. The ‘How You Gonna Act Like That’ singer’s surprise performance drew about 80 fans — and the police!
Tyrese Gibson, 36, is a man on the mission. With a hit single on the charts, the “Shame” singer decided to shame mainstream radio stations for ignoring him and other black R&B artists! What better way to finally get music execs to listen to his song than with a surprise protest performance?
Tyrese staged his demonstration against iHeartRadio on Aug. 5, reports TMZ. He first gave his fans the head’s up, telling them via Instagram that he was playing at the corner of 3000 Alameda in Burbank – right in front of the iHeartRadio theater. Though Tyrese first said he was just going to perform for the public, he revealed his guerilla-style concert was a way to complain to iHeartRadio for not supporting him and his song “Shame.”
“I heard that there are a few folks in this event, from iHeart, that haven’t heard the song ‘Shame,'” Tyrese said. “They ain’t supporting it on mainstream radio so I’m just coming to perform for free.”
Clearly, Tyrese was upset that, despite his song reaching #1 on the Billboard Adult R&B Song Charts, it wasn’t reportedly played on iHeart’s radio stations. Tyrese has also reportedly complained how black R&B soul artists aren’t played on mainstream radio, while white R&B singers like Sam Smith or Justin Timberlake get plenty of airplay.
Fans started lining up at the corner of Alameda once they found out that Tyrese was going to play for free. They started looking for him and were excited when he jumped out of his car to serenade the group with a version of his hit.
About 80 fans reportedly showed up to support Tyrese. His protest also drew about eight police cars and four officers on motorcycles! They might have been fans of Tyrese, but they still had to uphold the law. While his performance wasn’t illegal, blocking traffic was and Tyrese was given a ticket for clogging up the street.
I seen a little girl cry because she wasn't tall enough to get a cd while I was passing them out – Wiped her tears, Gae her hug and took a cd from a dude and she smiled awwweeeee!!! That was the highlight of this moment….. All I wanna do is have my #1 song #Billboard #Shame thats 2 weeks in a row on Billboard to be HEARD!!!! 8 police cars and 4 motorcycle cars later – R&B must be a REAL THREAT – I fear no man but GOD and my position won't change – thank you to the 80+ multi ethnic fans for showing up – there's power in numbers – #RnBSOULDIERS I FREAKIN LOVE YOU!!!!! #BlackRoseMission I sung from my HEART in front of the iHEART building LA!!!
Look at my last 8 post about what happened today… 8 police cars and 4 motorcycle cars later – R&B going #Mainstream must be a REAL THREAT – I fear no man but GOD and my position won't change – thank you to the 80+ multi ethnic fans for showing up – there's power in numbers – #RnBSOULDIERS I FREAKIN LOVE YOU!!!!! #BlackRoseMission
Do you agree with Tyrese, HollywoodLifers? Do you think he should continue to protest iHeartRadio for not playing R&B on mainstream radio stations?
— Jason Brow