George Floyd Protests, Unrest Across U.S. Spark Strong Reactions from David Crosby, James Taylor, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, Sammy Hagar, Carole King, and More on Social Media

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The past few days have been wrought with unrest, peaceful protests and looting in major cities across the United States, frustration stemming from the killing  of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police last week, combined with the ongoing tension regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

As images and videos have circulated on social media and the cable and local news networks over the weekend, it’s been impossible to avoid what’s been happening — and nobody should be avoiding it, truly.

Expressing deep-seated discontent with the state of the system at play in a nation is at the heart of what it means to be an American — and so, too, is the right to vocalize support of a movement. So often, musicians, actors and entertainers are told to keep quiet or “stick to ____” (whatever their chosen profession is), as if their opinions matter less than others because they are famous — but that only makes taking a hard-line stance during a time of division and controversy that much more powerful.

Take this tweet from Taylor Swift over the weekend, which pulls no punches whatsoever:

Lady Gaga echoed the same sentiment:

As did Axl Rose, commenting on the rhetoric from President Trump:

The #BlackLivesMatter movement has elicited strong reactions from both sides, of course, given the highly polarized political climate in the country right now, and the past few days of activity have seen some heartfelt reactions on social media from various rock and roll icons, some of whom have always maintained a socially conscious air to their careers, and others who have not — but who are exercising their right to free speech nonetheless.

David Crosby, for example, said this:

I confess ….I am stupidly trying to pretend light heartedness when I know perfectly well that I am going to lie here for long time tonight sad and adrift …if I were a praying man ….I’d pray for my America

James Taylor had even more to say, beginning with this passage:

“A time has come in our country where a significant amount of people demand a change. We have been here before, at a time when the people spontaneously take to the streets out of a common sense of outrage. In my opinion, we have forced our societal problems into this confrontation between the police, who are tasked with keeping the peace, and a segment of our population, subjected to perpetual, institutionalized suffering.”

Judy Collins invoked a poignant quote from the late Martin Luther King, Jr.:

Brian Wilson urged love:

Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers did, too:

Carole King shared her support of the #BlackLivesMatter movement:

Liam Gallagher of Oasis made his perspective felt quite clearly:

Sammy Hagar issued a video statement, adopting a general tone in hopes of spreading the idea of peace and mutual acceptance:

“Why would anyone kill innocent people and take it out on the whole race, the whole society we are living in because of a bad guy? A bad cop, a bad black man, a bad white man, a bad Chinese, Japanese, Hispanic, South American … what’s the difference? Why would you take it out on the whole human race … people with families and children that are innocent? There are bad guys everywhere, every walk of life. You know it. I know it. We all know it. Stop the violence. Stop racism. Prejudice. Please.”

On Twitter, Ozzy Osbourne shared a relevant lyrical passage from his song “Dreamer”:

Quincy Jones, who’s lived through more than a few civil rights issues over the years, mentioned that in showing his support for the music industry’s planned #BlackOutTuesday event on June 2:

Singer/songwriter Hayley Williams of Paramore spent her time researching resources for individuals to support the #BlackLivesMatter movement, should they be so inclined:

Fiona Apple was out in Santa Monica engaging in some peaceful protesting:

Ariana Grande spent her weekend marching in the protest lines:

Pop/rock star Halsey was also out on the front lines of the protest in Los Angeles on Saturday, documenting her experience on social media as well:

As was English musician Yungblud:

Rapper/actor Machine Gun Kelly, who portrayed Tommy Lee in the Netflix Motley Crue biopic The Dirt, was also in the streets in Los Angeles:

As long as protests related to the killing of George Floyd and the #BlackLivesMatter movement continue, we’ll surely see more reactions from throughout the music world. Such is the immediacy of messaging provided by social media.

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