As America comes to grips with the aftermath of the homophobic massacre in Orlando, nearly 200 artists and music executives have signed an open letter from Billboard, urging Congress to stop gun violence.
In the wake of the tragic event that left 49 dead, signatures have been collected from artists included Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, Adam Lambert, Meghan Trainor, Calvin Harris, Jennifer Lopez, Cher, Joe Jonas, Kesha, Barbra Streisand, Common, Zayn Malik, Alicia Keys, Sia, Paul McCartney, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera.
The Billboard editors said:
“Like the rest of the country and the world, Billboard editors were horrified by the mass killing at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub on June 12, and by the murder of singer Christina Grimmie the night before. Both tragedies occurred where musicians and music fans gathered. And so faced with another gun-related tragedy, the staff organized this special “Open Letter to Congress” cover of Billboard.
With the help of leading gun-violence prevention group Everytown for Gun Safety, editors reached out to those we cover in the music industry, and asked for their support and their signatures to help seek a sane and safe end to gun violence.
Within minutes, Joan Jett was the first to sign on. Lady Gaga shortly followed. Within hours, 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.”
— billboard (@billboard) June 23, 2016
The letter demands:
“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.”
— Britney Spears (@britneyspears) June 23, 2016
— Rob Thomas (@ThisIsRobThomas) June 23, 2016
— Kaskade (@kaskade) June 23, 2016