Why musicians and labels are getting involved with Blackout Tuesday


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The music industry is observing a day-long « blackout » in response to the death of George Floyd and the killings of other black people.

Several top record labels organised Blackout Tuesday to « disconnect from work and reconnect with our community » and their employees have been given the day off as a « day of action » to help « provoke accountability and change ».

It comes as protests erupted around the world, sparked by Mr Floyd’s death and the killings of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor .

The day sets to bring the $19billion industry to a halt and radio shows will go silent, music channels will « go dark » and Spotify will add eight minutes and 46 seconds of silence to select playlists and podcasts – the length of time they said that a white Minneapolis police officer last week knelt on the neck of Mr Floyd.

Police officers involved in the incident have been sacked and Derek Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

Music-based companies Live Nation and TikTok, as well as the Recording Academy, posted to social media that it planned to support and stand with the black community.

“On Tuesday June 2nd, Columbia Records will observe ‘Black Out Tuesday,’” the Sony label home to Beyoncé, Bob Dylan, Adele and John Legend said in a statement.

“This is not a day off. Instead, this is a day to reflect and figure out ways to move forward in solidarity.”

“We continue to stand with the Black community, our staff, artists, and peers in the music industry,” the company continued. “Perhaps with the music off, we can truly listen.”

Others that have joined Blackout Tuesday include RCA Records and Epic Records, the Universal Music Group divisions Republic Records, Def Jam, UMG Nashville, Capitol Records and Island Records, and the Warner Music Group imprints Atlantic and Warner Records.

Smaller, independent labels, as well as music publishing companies and management firms, have also signed on.

UMG’s Interscope Geffen A&M Records said that in addition to joining Blackout Tuesday, the label home to Lady Gaga, Kendrick Lamar and Billie Eilish would not release music this week — the first label to do so.

IGA postponed new music releases including tracks from MGK, 6lack, Dylan, Jessie Ware, Smokepurp, Lil Mosey and Billy Raffoul.

“Instead, IGA will contribute to organisations that help to bail out protesters exercising their right to peacefully assemble, aid lawyers working for systemic change and provide assistance to charities focused on creating economic empowerment in the Black community,” its statement read.

Musicians including Rihanna, Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Lil Nas X, Demi Lovato, Post Malone and Harry Styles have spoken out on social media following Mr Floyd’s death and the worldwide riots.

Some musicians were spotted alongside crowds of protesters over the weekend, including Ariana Grande, J. Cole, Jamie Foxx, Chance the Rapper, Kehlani, Miguel, Tinashe, Lil Yachty and Halsey, who said she was hit with a pellet and a shrapnel shell in Los Angeles.

LL Cool J turned to music to show his outrage and passion, posting a lengthy rap to social media. “For 400 years you had your knees on our necks, a garden of evil with no seeds of respect,” he rapped.

“In America’s mirror all she sees is regret, instead of letting blood live they begging for blood let.”

Jay-Z released a statement late Sunday calling for Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison to prosecute those responsible for killing Mr Floyd, who was handcuffed and pleaded for air during the arrest.

“I, along with an entire country in pain, call upon AG Ellison to do the right thing and prosecute all those responsible for the murder of George Floyd to the fullest extent of the law, » he said.

« This is just a first step. I am more determined to fight for justice than any fight my would-be oppressors may have.

“I prevail on every politician, prosecutor and officer in the country to have the courage to do what is right. Have the courage to look at us as humans, dads, brothers, sisters and mothers in pain and look at yourselves.”

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Source: https://www.standard.co.uk/news/world/blackout-tuesday-about-black-lives-matter-a4456981.html

Blackout Tuesday

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