The music is going quiet for "Blackout Tuesday" to let the sounds of protest and calls for action be heard. In a charge led by several record label execs -- and joined by a multitude of artists -- the music industry is coming to a temporary halt Tuesday to raise awareness and show solidarity with the demonstrations being held against police brutality.
The Blackout Tuesday protest, to be held June 2, was sparked by #TheShowMustBePaused movement, which began with messages shared by Atlantic Records' Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang of Platoon explaining that the initiative is "in response to the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless other Black citizens at the hands of police."
The execs posted pleas for the music industry as a whole to stop normal operations for a day in an effort to enact change and support the fight against injustice and systemic racism.
"Tuesday, June 2nd is meant to intentionally disrupt the work week," they explained of the blackout. "It's a day to take a beat for an honest, reflective and productive conversation about what actions we need to collectively take to support the Black community."
"The music industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. An industry that has profited predominantly from Black art," the message continued. "Our mission is to hold the industry at large, including major corporations + their partners who benefit from the efforts, struggles and successes of Black people accountable."
The statement goes on to explain that #TheShowMustBePaused "is not just a 24-hour initiative. We are and will be in this fight for the long haul."
Multiple record labels and other music industry execs have shared the statement and supported the initiative -- including RCA Records, Epic Records, Def Jam, Capitol Records, Republic Records, and Atlantic Records, which have encouraged their employees to take the day off to participate in the movement -- as have radio hosts and many musicians.
"It is heartbreaking to see America tearing itself apart again over issues of race," Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger wrote on Twitter on Monday. "Tomorrow I stand with my fellow artists and observe Blackout Tuesday to combat racial discrimination and social injustice."
"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," producer Quincy Jones wrote on social media. "My team & I stand for justice. Convos will be had & action will be taken. #THESHOWMUSTBEPAUSED"
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 will be had & action will be taken. #THESHOWMUSTBEPAUSED pic.twitter.com/0pehqgGN6o— Quincy Jones (@QuincyDJones) May 31, 2020
Here are some of the messages shared by music labels and artists supporting the Blackout Tuesday movement.
In response to George Floyd's death––the deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and "other black citizens at the hands of police," music companies and artists are calling for the industry to observe "Black Out Tuesday" on June 2. #TheShowMustBePausedhttps://t.co/F7pEkDwPXR— Recording Academy / GRAMMYs (@RecordingAcad) June 1, 2020
Along with the civilised world I was horrified by the racist murder of George Floyd.— Peter Gabriel (@itspetergabriel) June 1, 2020
This type of brutality needs to be confronted directly, with justice clearly seen to be done whenever & wherever it occurs. (1/3)#BlackLivesMatter#TheShowMustBePaused#BlackOutTuesday pic.twitter.com/Du60LgJf5d
I am united with my black and brown friends and colleagues. Black lives matter. Tomorrow, I will not be on radio. I will be taking part in Black Out Tuesday, listening, learning and looking for solutions to fight racial inequality #TheShowMustBePaused pic.twitter.com/bpDoOWaJZC— Zane Lowe (@zanelowe) June 1, 2020
Neon Trees will be supporting #BlackOutTuesday in honor of George Floyd and all victims of systemic racism and to demand change, justice, accountability. #TheShowMustBePaused pic.twitter.com/JFwjgkVKI6— Neon Trees (@neontrees) June 1, 2020
Racism is not ok! Tomorrow I will be disconnecting from work to listen & learn about how racism affects people all around the world. I understand that social media is not the solution, but a post can encourage a conversation around these issues. #TheShowMustBePaused pic.twitter.com/5DC7bWNMvJ— Timmy Trumpet (@TimmyTrumpet) June 1, 2020
Artists, Creators and music industry moguls. Tuesday we pause together as an act of solidarity and support for the black community and everyone who is in the fight for equal human rights. #theshowmustbepaused… https://t.co/Aurhh22nDz— Lzzy Hale (@LZZYHALE) June 1, 2020
MUSIC INDUSTRY BLACK OUT TUESDAY— Nile Rodgers (@nilerodgers) June 1, 2020
Due to recent events please join us as we take an urgent step of action to provoke accountability and change.
Join us on Tuesday JUNE 2 as a day to disconnect from work and reconnect with our community.#THESHOWMUSTBEPAUSED pic.twitter.com/Yqb3D2CRWz
Silence is not an option.— Defected Records (@DefectedRecords) June 1, 2020
On Tuesday 2nd June, Defected, Glitterbox & Classic will stand in solidarity with “Black Out Tuesday” for George Floyd and all those that have suffered through acts of racism & injustice.#TheShowMustBePaused#BlackLivesMatter#JusticeForGeorgeFloyd pic.twitter.com/xVhKVrpMGY
We are all created equal. Every single one of us. There will be no Living wEll episode this Tuesday. I will be spending it learning how to continue to take a stand and use my voice to fight for justice, peace & reconciliation. #theshowmustbepaused #blackouttuesday pic.twitter.com/nFBou5AiHD— Lindsay Ell (@lindsayell) June 1, 2020
This is what solidarity looks like. Take a day out to reflect on what actions we need to collectively take to support the Black community #TheShowMustBePaused https://t.co/BGkQV6SWrw pic.twitter.com/ceL2pb0Axf— Billy Bragg (@billybragg) June 1, 2020
The Musicians’ Union stands with our Black members and all Black communities against all forms of racism, violence and discrimination. When we say "behind every musician”, we mean it. #BlackLivesMatter #TheShowMustBePaused pic.twitter.com/BHyFsqeOso— Musicians' Union (@WeAreTheMU) June 1, 2020
Tomorrow we are pressing pause on our radio schedule, and pressing play on uninterrupted music of black origin selected by our community of black presenters & volunteers.— Reprezent 107.3FM (@ReprezentRadio) June 1, 2020
We stand in solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement.#TheShowMustBePaused pic.twitter.com/9LWEjR6Vqy
We join our friends in the music industry to support Black Out Tuesday. We won't be posting across our social channels as we observe a day of reflection on how we can contribute towards diversity and against racism.#TheShowMustBePaused pic.twitter.com/1BTHKCVTRT— Absolute Radio (@absoluteradio) June 1, 2020
Tomorrow will not be business as usual. We will spend our day actively listening, reflecting, and discussing how we can best support meaningful change.#theshowmustbepaused #blackouttuesday pic.twitter.com/HL21ViEWbz— Austin City Limits (@acltv) June 1, 2020
I, like many others in the music industry, will be wholeheartedly observing Black Out Tuesday in solidarity with the black community in support of a desperate need for change. #BlackLivesMatter #TheShowMustBePaused https://t.co/RmuKmmQXn1 pic.twitter.com/Un5pAw6TAO— Nathan Sykes (@NathanSykes) June 1, 2020
For more on the large-scale protests against police brutality and racial injustice being held in multiple cities nationwide, see the video below.