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Celebs shun SeaWorld amid 'Blackfish' controversy

Updated 4:15 PM ET, Thu January 16, 2014
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Ever since the CNN documentary "Blackfish" raised questions about the safety and humaneness of SeaWorld's practices, musicians booked for the 2014 Bands, Brew & BBQ concert series have been cutting ties with the Florida theme park. Others have also distanced themselves. Country singer Martina McBride, pictured, announced on Facebook that she had canceled her appearance scheduled for March. Chris Trotman/Getty Images
Neil Giraldo and Pat Benatar announced Thursday, January 16, that they will be canceling their performance at Bands, Brew & BBQ. Larry Marano/Getty Images
The Beach Boys also canceled their show at the event. Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images
Former Savage Garden singer Darren Hayes told a Twitter user he did not know the band's "The Animal Song" was being used during SeaWorld's performances. He said he has written to his publisher about it. Brigitte Engl/Redferns via Getty Images/File
Edgar Winter told his fans via Facebook that he and his wife, Monique, would do "everything in our power" to stop SeaWorld from using his song "Free Ride" during its performances. Mark Sullivan/WireImage/Getty Images/File
REO Speedwagon announced December 13 that it had canceled its performance. Michael Loccisano/Getty Images
On December 12, Trisha Yearwood pulled out "in light of recent concerns," according to her representative. John W. Ferguson/Getty Images
Although Joan Jett was not scheduled to perform at SeaWorld, one of her songs featured prominently in the park's killer whale shows. "I was surprised and upset to see on YouTube that SeaWorld used 'I Love Rock 'n' Roll' as the opening music for its cruel and abusive 'Shamu Rocks' show," Jett wrote in a letter to SeaWorld President Jim Atchison on December 11. "I'm among the millions who saw 'Blackfish' and am sickened that my music was blasted without my permission at sound-sensitive marine mammals. ... These intelligent and feeling creatures communicate by sonar and are driven crazy in the tiny tanks in which they are confined." A SeaWorld spokesman said that although the park had licensed the song legally, it will no longer be used in the shows. Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Cheap Trick canceled its February date without releasing a statement. Ethan Miller/Getty Images
On December 7, sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson tweeted, "Heart has chosen to decline their forthcoming performance at SeaWorld on 2/9/14 due to the controversial documentary film 'Black Fish.' " Nancy, left, wrote, "The Sea World show was planned long ago as an Orlando show. Had we known, we'd have said no then. We said no today. Love you all." Kevin Winter/Getty Images
After the airing of the documentary and the Change.org petition urging Willie Nelson to withdraw from the concert series, Nelson obliged, saying, "What they do at SeaWorld is not OK." He told CNN's Brooke Baldwin: "I don't agree with the way they treat their animals. (Canceling the show) wasn't that hard a deal for me." Ethan Miller/The Smith Center/Getty Images
Barenaked Ladies was among the first acts to question their affiliations with SeaWorld, and the band took to Facebook in November to explain why it was canceling its SeaWorld concert. "This is a complicated issue, and we don't claim to understand all of it, but we don't feel comfortable proceeding with the gig at this time," the band wrote. "The Seaworld folks have been gracious, and extended us invitations to the park to learn more about what they do, and how they do it." Jag Gundu/Getty Images