Carlos Santana was filmed making anti-transgender remarks during one of his recent live performances.
In a video that has since gone viral, the 76-year-old Mexican-born American guitarist can be seen standing on stage addressing the crowd in between songs.
“When God made you and me, before we came out of the womb, you know who you are and what you are,” Santana says to applause.
“Later on, when you grow out of it, you see things, and you start believing that you could be something that sounds good, but you know it ain’t right.”
He continues: “Because a woman is a woman and a man is a man – that’s it. Whatever you wanna do in the closet, that’s your business. I’m ok with that.”
As he places his hands side by side, he adds: “I’m like this with my brother Dave Chappelle.”
Comedian Chappelle, 50, is well-known for making jokes about the trans community during his stand-up sets. Earlier this year, he came under fire for remarks made in his 2021 Netflix special The Closer, which ultimately earned him a Grammy.
According to several reports, the viral clip is believed to have been taken during one of Santana’s Atlantic City concerts last month.
Based Carlos Santana:
"When God made you and me, before we came out of the womb, you know who you are and what you are. A woman is a woman and a man is a man.” pic.twitter.com/B9IHgluows
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) August 24, 2023
Cryptically addressing his controversial comments in a statement to Billboard, Santana said: “Here is my personal goal that I strive to achieve every day. I want to honour and respect all person’s ideals and beliefs whether they are LGBTQ or not. This is the planet of free will and we have all been given this gift.
“I will now pursue this goal to be happy and have fun, and for everyone to believe what they want and follow in your hearts without fear. It takes courage to grow and glow in the light that you are and to be true, genuine, and authentic. We grow and learn to shine our light with Love and compliments. Have a glorious existence. Peace.”
The Independent has contacted Santana’s representative for comment.
Just last year, Santana suffered a health scare after collapsing on stage in Michigan. He was promptly rushed to hospital and was forced to postpone some concert dates “out of an abundance of caution for” his health.
Shortly after, Santana’s manager issued an update, telling fans the musician was “doing well” and “ is anxious to be back on stage soon”.