The Weeknd donated half a million dollars in support of racial justice
Written by Randy C on June 4, 2020
In an industry-wide show of solidarity on Tuesday June 2, major streaming services including Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music, and Amazon Music dedicated their platforms to Black Out Tuesday and joined numerous others in the initiative for racial equality. Spurred by the nationwide outrage at the deaths of black citizens like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many others, the campaign prompted the music industry to collectively take a day of social media and business silence to reflect and unite in support of Black Lives Matter and other crucial causes. All 50 states in the nation have held protests since.
Spotify blacked-out more than a dozen of its flagships playlists and podcasts, rebranding Today’s Top Hits, RapCaviar, and all of their urban and R&B playlists to represent visual solidarity. Similar to other industry leaders, the Swedish company also paused its social media publication. In tribute to Floyd’s unjust death at the hands of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, Spotify incorporated an 8-minute, 46-second track of silence into select playlists and podcasts. As of Wednesday June 3, three ex-officers have been charged in Floyd’s death on top of new charges of second-degree murder against Chauvin.
Apple Music initiated a campaign takeover, cancelling its regular Beats 1 programming and redirecting to a singular streaming station celebrating music created by black artists. The stream would intermittently pause to voiceover, “This moment calls upon us all to speak and act against racism … we stand in solidarity with black communities everywhere.” Apple Music’s Radio and For You tabs were also replaced with the “For Us, By Us” playlist, containing 50 tracks representing “unapologetic celebration of Blackness.”
YouTube and Amazon’s music services both paused their social media for the day as well. Meanwhile, Spotify has stated they will match employee donations made out to organizations fighting racism and injustice.