Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Katy Perry, and More Sign Open Letter Urging Congress to Stop Gun Violence
Over 180 – and counting – top artists and music industry executives (including pop stars, rappers, rockers and legends like Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, Cher, Christina Aguilera, DJ Khaled) have signed an open letter, published on Billboard’s cover, urging Congress to stop gun violence.
In the wake of the unfathomable gun violence tragedies in Orlando this month, first against 22-year-old singer Christina Grimmie on June 10, 2016 and a day later at Pulse, a gay nightclub in which 49 people were killed in what is the nation’s worst mass shooting in modern history, the Billboard staff organized an “Open Letter to Congress,” with the help of gun-violence prevention group Everytown for Gun Safety.
Reaching out to the music industry at large, Joan Jett was the first person to sign the letter, with Lady Gaga following shortly afterward.
“Within hours,” Billboard notes, “and then in a matter of just a few days, nearly 200 top artists and executives—pop stars (including Grimmie’s friend Selena Gomez), rappers, rock gods, legends, Broadway heroes, even two Beatles and Yoko Ono—lent their voices to the chorus of Americans looking to our political leaders for change.”
“Billboard, artists and music-industry executives join so many members of the House and Senate this week proudly advocating for common-sense gun safety,” the music publication added, referencing the House sit-in that Democrats started Wednesday morning (June 22, 2016) to force a vote on two gun-control measures.
Billboard’s open letter to Congress reads as follows:
As leading artists and executives in the music industry, we are adding our voices to the chorus of Americans demanding change.
Music always has been celebrated communally, on dancefloors and at concert halls. But this life-affirming ritual, like so many other daily experiences—going to school or church or work—now is threatened, because of gun violence in this country.
The one thing that connects the recent tragedies in Orlando is that it is far too easy for dangerous people to get their hands on guns.
We call on Congress to do more to prevent the gun violence that kills more than 90 Americans every day and injures hundreds more, including:
Require a background check for every gun sale
Block suspected terrorists from buying guns
Billboard and the undersigned implore you—the people who are elected to represent us—to close the deadly loopholes that put the lives of so many music fans, and all of us, at risk.
In addition to the aforementioned, here’s just some of the other nearly 200 people who have signed the letter: Meghan Trainor, Calvin Harris, Jennifer Lopez, Joe Jonas, Kesha, Barbra Streisand, Common, Diplo, Alicia Keys, Sia, Ringo Starr, Iggy Pop, Pearl Jam, Questlove, Bonnie Raitt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Shakira, Dixie Chicks, Conan O’Brien, Ellen DeGeneres.