The music industry is set to unite for a day of silence this Tuesday in solidarity with protestors following the death of George Floyd.
Protests have been staged in America and the UK in recent days after video footage emerged showing Mr Floyd being pinned down by his neck by a Minnesota police offer. He later died and the officer who was filmed holding him down has been charged with murder.
A number of major record labels have pledged to refrain from any business activity in order to “disconnect from work and reconnect with our community”.
A widely shared post, which went viral under the hashtag #TheShowMustBePaused, read: “Due to recent events please join us as we take an urgent step of action to provoke accountability and change.
“As gatekeepers of the culture, it’s our responsibility to not only come together to celebrate the wins, but also hold each other up during a loss.”
— Tim Burgess (@Tim_Burgess)June 1, 2020
Capitol Music Group — which features record labels such as Virgin, Motown and Blue Note — has signed up as part of the initiative, as has Warner Music Group, which owns Atlantic, Parlophone and Elektra Records.
Scores of other music industry bodies have pledged their allegiance to the blackout, from Dirty Hit records and Universal Music Group, to London festival South West Four and The Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess, who has rescheduled one of his popular album listening parties accordingly.
Mr Floyd’s death has sparked a number of musicians to speak out about racial injustice. In a video posted to Instagram, Beyoncé called for an end to the “senseless killings of human beings”, adding: “No more seeing people of colour as less than human. We can no longer look away. George is all of our family and humanity. He is our family because he is a fellow American.”
Rihanna wrote on Instagram on Saturday of her “devastation, anger [and] sadness”, adding: “Watching my people get murdered and lynched day after day pushed me to a heavy place in my heart.”
Dr Dre, Jay-Z and Billie Eilish are among the other high-profile musicians to have decried racial inequality during the protests.