The ‘Shut Up’ hitmaker took to the Pyramid Stage on Friday (June 28) as the first British rapper ever to headline the festival. Prior to his performance, he tweeted that he was “overwhelmed with emotions” about being the first black British artist to top the bill.
“I am the first black British artist to headline Glastonbury,” he wrote. “At 25 years old I am the second youngest solo act to ever headline Glastonbury, the youngest being a 24 year old David Bowie in 1971. I’m overwhelmed with emotions, this is the most surreal feeling I’ve ever experienced.”
- Read more: Alright, doubters – Stormzy’s Glastonbury headline set was a platform to elevate others, a statement of intent and bloody brilliant
Refuting the rapper’s claim, Skunk Anansie – led by front woman Skin – responded by saying that they “beat” him to it 20 years earlier.
“Sorry Stormzy but we beat you to it in 1999! 20 years ago!” a post on the band’s official Instagram page read. “And while we’re on topic, I was the first black Woman too! @beyonce.”
Going on to congratulate Stormzy for securing the headline slot, Skunk Anansie added: “Wishing you an awesome nite tho, Kill it! You’re amazing and we’re all very proud… Real question is why it took 20 years!”
However, Stormzy has now responded to apologise and pay his respects to the band.
S|kin from the band Skunk Anansie was actually the first black artist to headline Glasto,” he wrote. “She done it with her band in 1999. No disrespect intended and MASSIVE salute to you – my apologies.”
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Sorry Stormzy but we beat you to it in 1999! 20 years ago! And while we’re on topic, I was the first black Woman too! @beyonce Wishing you an awesome nite tho, Kill it! You’re amazing and we’re all very proud 😊 @musicweekinsta @stormzy @bbcnews @bbc6music @glastofest ps. Real question is why it took 20 years!
Skin from the band Skunk Anansie was actually the first black artist to headline glasto she done it with her band in 1999 no disrespect intended and MASSIVE salute to you – my apologies ! ❤️ @skinskinny
— #MERKY (@stormzy) July 1, 2019
Skunk Anansie headlined Glastonbury in 1999. Promoting their third album, ‘Post Orgasmic Chill’, and its lead single, ‘Charlie Big Potato’, Skin and co. topped the bill on the Pyramid Stage while the other headliners were R.E.M. and Manic Street Preachers.
Reviewing the rapper’s headline set over the weekend, NME concluded: “Stormzy’s Glastonbury was a reflection of the time we live in now. Being the second-youngest headliner in the festival’s history and the first black UK solo artist to have such a high billing would have weighed a lot on his shoulders.
“With anticipation before the night apprehensive, Stormzy does not put a foot wrong throughout. He shows exactly why he deserves to be here. Not too big for his boots, after all.”
Once the explosive headlining performance that included a pep talk from Jay-Z and a collaboration with Coldplay’s Chris Martin was over, various high-profile figures took to social media to share their thoughts, including the Labour leader.