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Music Industry Observes 'Black Out Tuesday' On Instagram, Twitter For George Floyd

Gettyimages | Scott Olson
By Rima Pundir

On June 1, Columbia Records, the home of artists like Adele, Beyoncé, and John Legend, made a rather grim announcement for June 2, that of "Black Out Tuesday". Far from the maddening sales of "Black Friday", "Black Out Tuesday" is when most record companies and the artists with them have promised to go silent, and black on social media on June 2. They are observing a grim day of silence in honor of the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. Will fans be joining in?

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June 2 Is Black Out Tuesday

Columbia Records' Black Out Tuesday Announcement
Columbia Records / Instagram

Parts of America are burning. And parts have had the men in blue go down on their knees to apologize for all that needs to be forgiven. The music industry, meanwhile, is standing shoulder to shoulder with everyone who says, Black Lives Matter. It began with Columbia Records, but the movement has grown to encompass all the other major record producers in the industry. And it's not just the big names, the smaller, indie music producers are also in, doing what they can, as is Rihanna, on Instagram, below.

Say My Name

Warner Records uploaded a video with the caption 'Say my name'
Warner Records / Instagram

On Monday, Columbia Records issued a simple statement that has resounded, in silent blackness, with everyone else in the music world. The statement read, "On Tuesday June 2nd, Columbia Records will observe ‘Black Out Tuesday'. 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 final sentence was perhaps the one that made the most impact, “Perhaps with the music off, we can truly listen.” This is what Adele had to say.

The Music Is Silent Today

Black Lives Matter, say Atlanta Records
Atlanta Records / Instagram

The seed may have been sown by Columbia records, but it has grown to encompass all in the music world. Record companies like the Sony-owned RCA and Epic, Universal Music Group divisions, Warner Music Group, Atlantic, and Warner Records are all showing solidarity with the silence. Others like Republic Records, Def Jam, UMG Nashville, Capitol Records, and Island Records have also joined in for the cause, even though many commenters on Instagram are not very impressed and would much rather prefer these big companies open up and donate some big monies for the cause. Meanwhile, Beyoncé had a strong message to share.

Black. Lives. Matter.

To Billie Eilish, Black Lives Matter
Billie Eilish / Instagram

This is exactly what UMG’s Interscope Geffen A&M Records did. Not only have they joined the Black Out Tuesday, they also announced they would not be releasing any new music the week of June 1st. What they will do, is "contribute to organizations 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". This is the home of Lady Gaga, Kendrick Lamar, and Billie Elish, and what they are doing is laudable, to say the least. Here are some words from Billie Eilish for those who say "all lives matter".

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