The Recording Academy and MusiCares’ COVID-19 Relief Fund has passed $10 million in donations, the organizations announced today. The fund was initiated last month with a $1 million donation from each organization — MusiCares is the Recording Academy’s charitable wing — and has since seen “generous” but unspecified donations from Amazon Music, Facebook, SiriusXM-Pandora, Spotify, Tidal, YouTube Music, the Latin Recording Academy, StubHub, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group, City National Bank, Bill Silva Entertainment, George Harrison’s Material World Foundation, the Michael Jackson Estate, Alicia Keys and She Is The Music and Yoshiki Foundation America, among many others.
However, acting Recording Academy president and CEO Harvey Mason Jr. stressed that much more donation money is needed.
“It’s inspiring to see how our creative community has come together to support and lift up our peers during this trying time,” he said. “While the donations raised will significantly help many who work in the industry, much more is needed. We encourage those who have the means to support this charitable effort so that all music people affected by this crisis can receive the financial assistance they need.”
Independent artists have made significant contributions as well: Better Than Ezra’s Kevin Griffin was stunned when his solo set on Facebook last month raised more than $40,000, simply because he clicked a “MusiCares” box on the site; Father John Misty released a live album to raise money for the fund.
Other organizations have made big contributions to the music community in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, including Live Nation, which established the $10 million Crew Aid fund for live-entertainment personnel impacted by the crisis, and Apple Music established a $50 million fund to assist independent labels in paying artists.
In simpler times, MusiCares helps people in the industry with everything from emergency health care to substance-abuse treatment, but these days it has focused on helping music people — everyone, not just Academy members — who have lost their livelihoods due to the coronavirus pandemic that has devastated the music industry and much of the world.
In an interview with Variety late last month, acting Recording Academy president and CEO Harvey Mason Jr. said, “We want to make sure people understand the MusiCares COVID relief fund is for everybody in the music community — not just Recording Academy members and definitely not superstar artists, it’s about working class musicians and people loading gear and running lights and engineering sound, for the guitar player about to go on tour that was canceled, or a guy who was playing in a hotel lobby. A lot of them don’t work for companies or have insurance and a lot of them don’t have savings.”
MusiCares chair and Amazon Music chief Steve Boom added, “In fact, the superstars are the ones who are helping out.”
If you wish to support MusiCares’ efforts to assist music professionals in need, visit: https://www.grammy.com/MusiCares/CoronavirusReliefFund
If you are a member of the music industry in need of assistance, visit: musicares.org.