Superproducer Quincy Jones and rock icons The Rolling Stones are throwing their support behind the music industry’s Blackout Tuesday protest in response to the murder of George Floyd.
Like so many others, officials across the industry have been left horrified by the way the unarmed African-American man was treated prior to his death on May 25, 2020, when Minnesota policeman Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck to place him under arrest – despite Floyd repeatedly pleading for help as he struggled to breathe.
To draw attention to the ongoing issue of police brutality and demand justice for Floyd, members of the music world have voiced their support for a grassroots campaign to take a stand on Tuesday (Jun 2, 2020) by going silent, instead using the time to reflect on the urgent need for change.
Bosses at labels like Sony Music, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group have also pledged to halt the release and promotion of new music for the day, and now a number of big names have also announced they will be using the time to disconnect and take action in their own communities.
Voicing his backing for the cause, Quincy used the campaign hashtag “#THESHOWMUSTBEPAUSED” and wrote on Twitter, “It’s hard to know what to say because I’ve been dealing with racism my entire life. That said, it’s rearing its ugly head right now & by God it’s time to deal with it once & for all. My team & I stand for justice. Convos (sic) will be had & action will be taken.”
A message posted on The Rolling Stones’ official page read: “Mick (Jagger), Keith (Richards), Charlie (Watts) and Ronnie (Wood) stand with all who object to racism, violence or bigotry. #theshowmustbepaused #blacklivesmatter”.
Veteran singer Peter Gabriel tweeted, “Along with the civilized world I was horrified by the racist murder of George Floyd.
This type of brutality needs to be confronted directly, with justice clearly seen to be done whenever & wherever it occurs.”
He also highlighted the ongoing work of his human rights non-profit organization, Witness, in “monitoring police violence”, adding, “I hope these protests will not only lead to the addressing of the problems at the root of this, but also encourage a worldwide look at how each country is dealing with racism and religious persecution within their own borders.
“Politicians are trying to win support by fuelling nationalism and racism for their own gain. If we don’t like the way things are going we have to speak out and act. The world can only be what we choose to make it.”
Other tweets of support came from fellow musicians Billy Bragg, Massive Attack, and The Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess, who scrapped plans for his regular virtual listening party in recognition of the movement.
In addition, country singer Lindsay Ell and jam band stars Phish have pulled their weekly online events scheduled for Tuesday.