The music industry is planning to turn off the music and hold a day to reflect and implement change in response to the death of George Floyd and the killings of other black people.
Several top record labels organised Black Out Tuesday as violent protests erupted around the world sparked by Floyd’s death as well as the killings of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. 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 Beyonce, 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 Black Out Tuesday include the Sony imprints 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 Black Out Tuesday, the label home to Lady Gaga, Kendrick Lamar and Billie Eilish would not release music this week — the first label to do so.
“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.
IGA postponed new music releases MGK, 6lack, Dylan, Jessie Ware, Smokepurp, Lil Mosey, Billy Raffoul, Max Leone and more in coordination with their partners Alamo, LVRN, The Darkroom, Bad Boy and more.
Musicians including Rihanna, Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Lil Nas X, Demi Lovato, Post Malone and Harry Styles have spoken out on social media following 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.
Jay Z released a statement late Sunday calling for Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison to prosecute those responsible for killing Floyd, a handcuffed black man who pleaded for air as a white police officer pressed a knee on his neck.