15 Songs Artists Have Released in Response to Recent Tragedies
In light of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando and the shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, many singers have been using their music to voice support and call for change in this time of tragedy.
Artists like Jay Z and Miguel have released solo tracks dedicated to the Black Lives Matter movement, serving as new anthems that protest acts of police brutality against blacks in America. Other artists, like Jennifer Lopez and Lin-Manuel Miranda, have collaborated to honor the victims of the Orlando shooting and spread messages of love.
Most of the songs are available for free streaming, while others are available for purchase with proceeds going to benefit the LGBTQ community or those affected by the Orlando shooting.
Here are 15 powerful new tributes that singers have recently shared in response to the tragic events:
Dedicated to the Black Lives Matter Movement
1. “How Many” by Miguel
Miguel shared a new song titled “How Many” in support of #BlackLivesMatter, stating he’d update the song as it evolves weekly. He sings powerful lyrics in the raw demo: “How many black lives does it take to wake a change?” The song is available for free streaming on Soundcloud.
2. “Spiritual” by Jay Z
Jay Z released the song “Spiritual,” a passionate protest against police brutality, along with a statement expressing his frustration: “I’m saddened and disappointed in THIS America.” The rapper also shared a 24-track playlist on Tidal called “Songs for Survival,” which included Beyoncé‘s Black Lives Matter anthem, “Freedom” featuring Kendrick Lamar, from Lemonade. “Spiritual” and the “Songs for Survival” playlist can be streamed on Tidal.
3. “Better Days” by Victoria Monet ft. Ariana Grande
Ariana Grande teamed up with R&B singer Victoria Monet for “Better Days,” a hopeful track that Grande has said calls for love in light of the deaths of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and the police officers in Dallas. The song is available to stream for free on Soundcloud.
4. “My Friend” and “A Lot of Love” by Chris Brown
Chris Brown shared “My Friend,” a piano ballad that he released “for anybody dealing with injustice or struggle in their lives.” A day later, he also shared “A Lot of Love,” a more upbeat track with an optimistic message. Both songs are available to stream on Soundcloud.
5. “Sad News” by Swizz Beatz ft. Scarface
In the Scarface-assisted song, Swizz Beatz sings about the injustice and victims of police shootings: “Little boy got shot down today/ I hope his family is OK.” The somber track is available to stream on Soundcloud.
6. “Magic Bullet” by My Morning Jacket
Rock band My Morning Jacket calls for peace and love in response to the recent shootings with the funk-rock track, “Magic Bullet.” The group released the song for free streaming on Soundcloud, along with a message that read: “Violence is never the answer. Only love.”
7. “No Justice No Peace” by Mike Dean
Rapper Z Ro and Kanye West producer Mike Dean collaborated on the protest track “No Justice No Peace.” Z Ro raps his frustration with the vicious cycle of police shootings: “They kill our kids it seems like they don’t get to grow no more.” The track is available for free streaming on Soundcloud.
9. “6 Shots” by Mistah F.A.B.
Mistah F.A.B. shared his grief in response to recent police violence in “6 Shots.” In the track titled after the number of bullets police shot at Alton Sterling, the rapper addresses repetitive instances of racial injustice: “Same situation: black victim, white cop.”
Dedicated to the Pulse Nightclub Shooting
10. “Love Make the World Go Round” by Jennifer Lopez ft. Lin-Manuel Miranda
J.Lo and Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda, whose famous Tony Awards speech is sampled in the new song, teamed up to spread a message of love and support for the LGBTQ community in response to the mass shooting in Orlando in June. The track is available for purchase on iTunes, with 100% of proceeds going to people impacted by the Orlando shooting.
11. “Hands” by Various Artists
The Interscope Records tribute track features over 24 musicians, including pop stars like Selena Gomez, Britney Spears, Megan Trainor, Mary J Blige, and Shawn Mendes. The uplifting collaboration honoring the victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting is available for purchase on iTunes, with proceeds benefiting Equality Florida Pulse Victims Fund, the GLBT Community Center of Central Florida, and GLAAD.
12. “Pulse” by Melissa Etheridge
Melissa Etheridge wrote the ballad “Pulse” dedicated to the 49 dead, and over 50 injured, from the Orlando shooting. She sings powerful lyrics about overcoming hate and violence: “How can I hate them, when everybody’s got a pulse?” The song is available for purchase on iTunes, with all proceeds going to Equality Florida.
13. “What the World Needs Now Is Love” by Broadway for Orlando
The Broadway community gathered together to record a new rendition of “What the World Needs Now is Love.” The track features a long list of Broadway stars like Sara Bareilles, Idina Menzel, and Bernadette Peters. The song can be purchased on iTunes, with all proceeds being donated to the GBLT Community Center of Central Florida.
14. “Change” by Christina Aguilera
Christina Aguilera and Who is Fancy co-wrote the empowering tribute song “Change,” dedicated to the victims of the shooting at the Orlando gay nightclub. The track is available for purchase on iTunes with proceeds going to benefit the National Compassion Fund, which is supporting those impacted by the shooting.
15. “Fight Song (Acoustic)” by Rachel Platten
Rachel Platten released a special acoustic version of her popular, inspirational anthem “Fight Song” to benefit the victims and families affected by the Orlando shootings. The song can be purchased on iTunes, and with all proceeds going to the National Compassion Fund.