Alicia Keys, Mary J. Blige, T.I. & More Recognize Loss of Black Americans in ’17 More Ways’ Video: Watch

Music stars like Alicia Keys, Mary J. Blige and T.I. have joined forces to recognize the loss of Black Americans in recent years, and call on the Biden-Harris Administration to take steps to end racism.

In conjunction with Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday (Jan. 18), the Black Music Action Coalition and #breathewithme Revolution have shared a new video, titled “17 More Ways You Could Be Killed if You Are Black in America,” featuring numerous music artists bringing attention to African-Americans who were killed as a result of racism.

In addition to Keys, Blige and T.I., the three-minute clip also features stars like Khalid, Ty Dolla $ign and Offset stating the cause of death for Black victims like Jordan Edwards, Ronell Foster and Botham Jean, among others.

The powerful visual ends with Keys speaking about Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old EMT who was shot and killed by police in 2020. “Sleeping in your bed,” the R&B singer says of Taylor.

The video was released in an effort to encourage the forthcoming Biden-Harris Administration to launch a United States Commission on Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation during its first 100 days in office.

“17 More Ways” is a follow-up to the powerful 2016 video “23 Ways You Could Be Killed if You Are Black in America,” which featured high-profile celebrities like U2’s Bono, Beyonce, Keys, Rihanna and P!nk.

Watch “17 More Ways You Could Be Killed if You Are Black in America” below.

Garth Brooks to Perform at Biden Inauguration: ‘This Is a Statement of Unity’

Country music icon Garth Brooks will perform at President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ inauguration on Jan. 20. The Presidential Inaugural Committee revealed the Brooks performance in a press conference Monday (Jan. 18).

“This is a great day in our household, this is not a political statement, this is a statement of unity,” Brooks said. “This is history, and it is an honor to get to serve.”

Brooks says he was asked to perform by Dr. Jill Biden last week and made the decision to do so Sunday night. Brooks will be part of the swearing-in ceremony at the U.S. Capitol, not the concert or parade programming slated for later in the day Wednesday. Brooks will join Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez, who are also slated to perform at the inauguration ceremonies.

“There is a common theme in every presidential election: New beginnings, new starts, but it is the word unity, the word love, the word that we belong to each other. It is going to take all of us, what I want for all of us to do is listen,” Brooks said. “We are more divided than ever, that bridge that brings us together, it is reaching across, loving one another, because that is what is going to get us through the most divided times that we have.”

Brooks says he has performed for every president since Jimmy Carter, with the exception of Ronald Reagan. He had also performed at Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2008, and was asked to do so at President Trump’s inauguration in 2016, but was unable to appear due to a concert he had committed to in Cincinnati.

“In this case you must rise beyond red and blue, black and white, gay and straight, male and female, look at it from America,” Brooks said, adding that he wants attendees of his concerts leaving the show “loving each other more than the way they came in.”

He also recalled one of his favorite quotes, which, fittingly, came from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “We can’t start living until we rise above the narrows of our own individualistic concerns, and focus on the broader concerns of all humanity.”

This story first appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.

Stevie Wonder Uses MLK Day to Request Inequality Commission From Biden Administration

Stevie Wonder on Monday (Jan. 18) posted an emotional open letter to Martin Luther King, Jr. in which he said he was using the holiday to call on the Biden-Harris Administration to launch a truth commission on inequality in America.

In the video that is a bit more than four-minutes long, the iconic singer reminisces about meeting the late King when he was 14, calling the Civil Rights leader a “true hero and inspiration.”

It was that inspiration that Wonder says helped him to “push the needle of love and equality forward” through his music. “It is painful to know that needle has not moved one iota,” Wonder says. “You would not believe the lack of progress. It makes me physically sick.”

The Grammy-winning artist explains he is sick of lies and deceit dominating reality. “I am sick that truth is struggling to be heard and defended. Those who promote lies and false truth must be held accountable,” Wonder says. “It is the only way we can move forward.”

Wonder then asks for the Biden-Harris Administration to launch a truth commission on inequality, a formal investigation to “establish the truth of inequality in this country” and recommend conciliation.

“Without truth, we cannot have accountability,” Wonder says. “Without accountability, we cannot have forgiveness. Without forgiveness, we cannot heal.”

Wonder closes with, “On this day, a day in your honor, I pledge to have the courage to say what I see and acknowledge what I hear. In your spirit, I call on all those in the Senate to speak truth to what they know, they can physically see. And begin the steps of accountability, forgiveness and then healing.”

Watch Wonder’s video below.

This story first appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.