Music Updates

Days of Change: Looking Back At Acts Who Made A Difference

April 1: Dolly Parton announces on Instagram she has donated $1 million in honor of her friend Dr. Naji Abumrad, professor of surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, to fund Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine. By November, Moderna announces that its vaccine is 94% effective against the coronavirus. “I just felt so proud to have been part of that little seed money that hopefully will grow into something great and help to heal this world. Lord knows we need it, don’t we?” Parton tells the BBC’s The One Show.

Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Dolly Parton

April 6: With the pandemic shutting down live performances — and her own recording sessions — H.E.R. launches Girls With Guitars, a weekly Instagram series featuring performances, covers and special guests like Tori Kelly, Alessia Cara and UMI. “It’s just about girls who are passionate about music and play guitar,” says H.E.R. “I don’t think there’s enough women supporting women, especially in this time. It is that time to show love to other people and show love to other artists.”

May 30: Jessie Reyez is among the thousands who take to the streets in Toronto to protest after the death of George Floyd. The Canadian-born daughter of parents from Colombia, Reyez later tells Billboard: “People told me, ‘You’re not Black, so why the fuck are you being so loud about this?’ [Her late grandfather was Black.] I was like, ‘Are you crazy?’ I can say every Latino has Black blood in them, but they just forget. If the oppressed are the only ones fighting against oppression, how is anything ever going to change? If you’re in a position of privilege, what the fuck are you doing with your mouth closed?”


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