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As the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic continues to rock the music industry, the Recording Academy reached out to a few musicians to see how they were spending their days indoors. Today, R&B powerhouse singer and "Quarantine Queen" Sinead Hartnett shares her Quarantine Diary. Sinead's new single "Stickin", featuring Masego and VanJess, is out now.
[8 a.m.] WAKE UP, GIRL! I lie in bed and give myself about 30-45 minutes to slowly come back to reality. I love the feeling of stillness and in lockdown; we’ve been spoiled with it for the first time in most of our lives. Some of these moments in bed I’ll FaceTime my sisters so I can see my niece and nephews. They’re all precious and my favourite little people on earth! Slightly ashamed to say that this time of morning is also when I usually check my phone for emails, missed messages and notifications. Cheeky Instagram/Twitter scroll too, but I try not to be on it too much. Better for the mind to have that stuff in doses!
[9 a.m.] I make a hot lemon and ginger and do 10 minutes of meditation. It helps get my head straight and turn the noise down. Also, it helps me to focus on the tasks ahead. I use an app called Headspace because I prefer someone to guide me rather than doing it alone.
[9:30 a.m.] I usually wash up whatever I didn’t the night before and clean up the living room so that it feels like a cozy creative space. Tidy space, clearer mind. I’ll then make my breakfast smoothie! Oats, banana, oat milk, peanut butter, cacao—you should try it! BIG energy drink. Tastes like a Snickers milkshake but it's so good for you.
[11 a.m.] After doing some stuff on my phone like emails and replying to people, I’ll do a workout. When it’s hot here I usually do it outside so I can get some sun/nature. I LOVE the outdoors so much. It helps me escape the walls of my mind. When it's cold or rainy though, I do one in the flat. I don’t love the feeling during workouts, but I wait patiently for the exercise endorphins to show up! Exercise is good for the body of course, but what I get out of it for my mind is the real magic.
[12 p.m.] I usually make some lunch, which I demolish before showering! I don’t think I’ve cooked and cleaned more in my entire life than in this lockdown!
[1 p.m.–8 p.m.] During these hours, it's usually a juggling act of writing music, recording vocals, doing admin, promoting songs, making sure my socials are in check and calls with my team. etc. This time goes so quickly I almost feel someone’s pressing fast-forward. I’m always doing about five things simultaneously.
[9 p.m.–11 p.m.] I talk to family or friends that I haven't been able to get back to during the day. I'm not the best at communicating, especially nowadays because I don't like being on my phone too much. I prefer to see people in real life but obviously that’s had to change.
[12 a.m.] Ahhhh, rest time! I love to sleep so much! I've started a new habit of making sure I'm in bed no later than this time. I don't like the feeling when I wake up late, so I have to discipline myself to get into bed earlier. I always wonder where the day has gone and how I didn’t manage to watch a movie or switch off from musical work. But then I remind myself that music isn’t work, it’s a privilege and joy! Head down now, ready for more action tomorrow.
If you wish to support our efforts to assist music professionals in need, learn more about the Recording Academy's and MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund.
If you are a member of the music industry in need of assistance, visit the MusiCares website.
Ringo Starr performs at the 50th anniversary celebration of Woodstock in 2019
ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images
This month, Ringo Starr is commemorating his 80th birthday with a little help from his friends. The former Beatles drummer and nine-time GRAMMY-winning artist is celebrating the big event by hosting Ringo's Big Birthday Show, a virtual charity concert featuring "a mix of at-home performances and unearthed concert footage," according to Rolling Stone, from some of his best friends and closest collaborators, including Paul McCartney, Sheryl Crow, Gary Clark, Jr., Sheila E., Ben Harper and others.
Streaming on YouTube Tuesday (July 7), Starr's birthday, starting at 8 p.m. EST, the charity concert will benefit MusiCares, Black Lives Matter Global Network, The David Lynch Foundation and WaterAid.
The hour-long show, which will also include chats with the event's guests, will feature the debut of a new, guest-heavy version of "Give More Love," the title track to Starr's 2017 album, which will include Jackson Browne, Jeff Bridges, Elvis Costello, Willie Nelson and others, Rolling Stone reports. Artists like Steve Earle, Peter Frampton and Judy Collins will also perform a series of tribute performances, which Starr will debut on his YouTube channel.
Starr's birthday has become an annual celebration of "peace and love" since 2008 when the legendary artist asked his fans to join him in Chicago and say or think the phrase at noon local time. The "peace and love" celebrations have since spread to "more than 20 countries around the world and on social media, to 'create a wave of Peace & Love across the planet,'" Rolling Stone reports. For his birthday last July, Starr hosted a special "peace and love" celebration at the iconic Capitol Records building, The Beatles' longtime label home, in Los Angeles; the event featured performances from Ben Kyle, The Jacks and Sara Watkins. Starr is once again asking his fans and friends to say, think or share "peace and love" at noon local time on his birthday.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Starr's annual birthday celebration is going digital in 2020. "This year is going to be a little different," he told Rolling Stone. "There's no big get-together, there's no brunch for 100. But we're putting this show together – an hour of music and chat. It's quite a big birthday."
Learn more about how you can donate to or apply for assistance via the Recording Academy's and MusiCares' COVID-19 Relief Fund.
Learn more about the financial, medical and personal emergencies services and resources offered by the Recording Academy and MusiCares.
Miley Cyrus performs during the Global Goal: Unite For Our Future - Summit & Concert
Photo: Vijat Mohindra/Getty Images
The international music and entertainment communities united together Saturday (June 27) for the star-studded "Global Goal: Unite for Our Future - The Concert," a globally televised and digitally streamed concert special. Presented by international advocacy organization Global Citizen and the European Commission, the event aimed to highlight the "disproportionate impact COVID-19 has on marginalized communities," according to a press release announcing the event, and to advance the development of and access to coronavirus tests, treatments and vaccines.
Global Goal featured both intimate and grandiose performances from some of music's biggest stars, including: Jennifer Hudson, who opened the show with a cover of Gladys Knight & The Pips' 1973 hit "Where Peaceful Waters Flow" while floating atop a boat on the Chicago River; Miley Cyrus, who performed a cover of The Beatles classic "Help!" in an empty Rose Bowl stadium in Pasadena, Calif.; and Lin-Manuel Miranda who reunited with the original Broadway cast of "Hamilton," alongside late-night host Jimmy Fallon and "The Tonight Show" house band The Roots, for a rare performance of musical number "Helpless."
Hosted by Hollywood superstar Dwayne Johnson, Global Goal also included appearances and video messages from TV and film icons including Hugh Jackman, Kerry Washington, Charlize Theron, Chris Rock, Billy Porter, Ken Jeong, Salma Hayek Pinault and several more.
The event also included a summit, which featured panel discussions and interviews with global leaders, experts and thought-leaders like Angelique Kidjo, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Melinda Gates, Dr. Vin Gupta, NAACP President Derrick Johnson, Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and others.
Airing in more than 180 countries and streaming globally online, Global Goal raised a total of $6.9 billion in pledges, according to a press release from Global Citizen.
Watch some of the musical highlights from "Global Goal: Unite for Our Future - The Concert" below, and learn more about Global Citizen's COVID-19 campaign.
Photo: Rich Fury/Getty Images
Update Thursday (June 11) at 6:09 p.m. EST: In a press release, Goldenvoice officially announced the rescheduling of the 2021 installments of Coachella and its country music festival counterpart, Stagecoach, stating, "Under the continuing health guidance of the County of Riverside, Coachella and Stagecoach 2020 will not take place this October as previously rescheduled. This is not the future that any of us hoped to confront, but our main focus remains the well-being of our fans, staff, artists, desert partners and everyone involved in the festival." The press release states Coachella is scheduled to now take place across two weekends next April, with the first weekend happening April 9–11, followed by weekend two on April 16–18; Stagecoach will take place the following weekend, April 23–25. According to the announcement, all festivals will feature new lineups and all 2020 passes will be honored for 2021. 2020 ticket-holders will receive an email about refunds or ticket rollovers Monday (June 15).
Update: On Wednesday (June 10), the 2020 editions of Coachella and Stagecoach, both of which are Goldenvoice festival properties, were officially canceled "due to county and state restrictions" related to the coronavirus pandemic, Billboard reports. "I am concerned as indications grow that COVID-19 could worsen in the fall," Riverside Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser wrote in an official statement from Riverside County where both festivals take place. "In addition, events like Coachella and Stagecoach would fall under [California] Governor Newsom’s Stage 4, which he has previously stated would require treatments or a vaccine to enter. Given the projected circumstances and potential, I would not be comfortable moving forward."
After being rescheduled from April to October, this year's installment of Coachella has been postponed once again to 2021, largely due to major financial problems caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
According to Billboard, which broke the news Tuesday (June 9), officials at Goldenvoice, the organizers behind Coachella, are determining whether the festival will return next April, potentially in a limited capacity, or as a higher-capacity event in October 2021; the three-day festival typically attracts 125,000 people per day across two weekends.
At the time of this writing, Coachella has not made an official announcement about the postponement.
The cancelation follows a major wave of cost-cutting initiatives at AEG, the global concert promoter and parent company of Goldenvoice. On Monday (June 8), AEG laid off 15 percent of its workforce, furloughed more than 100 employees and instituted significant pay cuts, which collectively mark the "deepest staff cuts in the company's history," as noted by Billboard.
"It is clear now that live events with fans will not resume for many months and likely not until sometime in 2021," Dan Beckerman, a chief executive at AEG, wrote in a note to employees ahead of the layoffs, according to Billboard. He also said every employee worldwide "will be impacted in one form or another" by the staff cuts, calling the decision "agonizing" but "necessary" for the company's long-term success.
According to Billboard, approximately 40 percent of Coachella ticket-buyers requested refunds for this year's festival. AEG officials believe they can produce the festival next April at 60 percent capacity, but they will not commit to rescheduling the 2021 event until they know more about the pandemic's trajectory.
The festival's postponement and the company's staff cuts come as the coronavirus pandemic has virtually shut down the global concert business following strict stay-at-home orders and closures of nonessential businesses worldwide that have caused many live music venues and events companies to shut their doors—some permanently.
Rumors surrounding Coachella's 2020 postponement first surfaced in early March, just when the COVID-19 pandemic began to severely impact the music industry. Since then, businesses and several U.S. states have begun to open their doors nationwide. The live music industry has since implemented novel ideas, such as drive-in concerts, virtual festivals, and socially distanced events, but large-scale festivals and gatherings are not likely to return this year.
AEG could potentially begin to reintroduce concerts across its many venues around the world as early as the fourth quarter of 2020 or early 2021, Billboard reports, which will help the company rehire its furloughed employees once it locks in a timetable and solidifies an approach.
"It is our responsibility as a management team to protect our company and make sure that we are positioned for long-term success, and we are focused on this critical objective," Beckerman wrote in the note to staff, according to Billboard. "The world is slowly re-opening, and our industry will re-open later and more slowly than most. As a result, our organization and workforce have to adapt and evolve to meet the demands, challenges and economic circumstances we are likely to face when we emerge from this crisis."