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Top Music Organizations And Charitable Foundations And More Make Major Contributions To The Musicares Covid-19 Relief Fund

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Music industry associations, including the Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences®, and the Country Music Association; ticket marketplace StubHub; record label conglomerates Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group; financial institution City National Bank; concert promotion, artist management, touring, and publishing company Bill Silva Entertainment; and charitable foundations and trusts including the Gross Family Foundation, George Harrison’s Material World Foundation, the Michael Jackson Estate, Alicia Keys’ She Is The Music foundation and the Yoshiki Foundation America are the latest organizations that have made major contributions to the COVID-19 Relief Fundestablished by the Recording Academy® and its affiliated charitable organization MusiCares®.

The MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund was created to help music people affected by the pandemic due to the cancellation of income-generating music events and other industry work opportunities. Since the fund’s establishment two weeks ago with initial seed donations of $1 million each by MusiCares and the Recording Academy, millions more have been raised with the support of numerous partners. However, more is needed to meet the demand.

“We are thrilled that so many in our community are coming forward to support each other and grateful for all the organizations who are standing in the gap for the music community, said Harvey Mason jr. Chair and Interim President/CEO of the Recording Academy. “The music community remains in desperate need and many are living day to day whether they are a gigging musician, sound engineer or event logistics person. The impacts of this virus are very real as many struggle to know where their next rent payment is coming from  or how next week’s groceries are going to be paid for, so our fund is there to help meet needs in a small way.”

Beyond the initial donations, all Recording Academy Chapters have committed to fundraising in their local communities. Additionally, the Recording Academy appealed to Congress to further protect musicians, performers, songwriters, and studio professionals such as self-employed gig workers who are impacted by cancellations due to the ongoing pandemic. The stimulus package has since passed, and includes key provisions and protections that will benefit countless music industry professionals who are struggling in the wake of Coronavirus.

With the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund, music industry professionals, including artists, production crews, technicians, and anyone impacted by the loss of income due to live music event cancelations, can apply for basic living assistance.

If you wish to support our efforts to assist music professionals in need, visit: www.grammy.com/musicares/coronavirusrelieffund

If you are a member of the music industry in need of assistance, visit: musicares.org.  

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Nardo Wick recruits Lil Durk, 21 Savage & G Herbo for “Who Want Smoke??”

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Nardo Wick has just dropped the highly-anticipated new version of his smash-hit “Who Want Smoke??” featuring Lil Durk, 21 Savage, & G Herbo. The track includes a show-stopping verse from Durk, displaying the depths of his fiery and confrontational style, a noteworthy inclusion from 21 Savage reminiscent of his earliest days on the mic, and G Herbo delivering the thrilling and seasoned bars he’s renowned for. The song not only capitalizes on the virality of “Who Want Smoke?”, but also serves as a masterclass in collaborating from some of the most prominent artists in the game. Each verse builds on the next, with the superstar additions sticking to theme that Nardo laid out on the original “Who Want Smoke?”, signaling the unwavering faith that Durk, 21, and Herb have in the 19-year old Jacksonville emcee. This collaboration comes on the heels of Durk & Lil Babybringing Nardo to perform the viral record at their tour stop in Orlando, receiving an electrifying response from the Floridan crowd. Though the original song has already amassed a whopping 60 million streams and counting, these carefully curated contributions only further solidify “Who Want Smoke??” as one of the biggest records of the year.

“This next chapter of my career is to give every project I work on my full attention. If I want to be proud of all the videos I work on, then I must never rush the process. I want it to be a great viewing experience every time. The goal is to create timeless quality art that inspires and motivates me, and hopefully it can inspire and motivate those beyond me as well. I view the “Who Want Smoke??” video as the opening page of this new chapter.”
Cole Bennett

Nardo Wick bursted onto the scene in mid-2020 with a string of releases, including “Lolli”, “Slide”, and “Came Up.” Music gave the shy teen an outlet to channel his angst and was accompanied by a fast-following. Though he’s soft-spoken off the mic, when Nardo enters the booth, the raps he produces are dynamic and haunting––a reflection of Jacksonville’s turbulent hip-hop scene. In 2021, Wick transitioned from making buzzing records to inescapable anthems. “Who Want Smoke?” became a widespread hit, achieving over 60 million streams as well as placements on Rap Caviar and Hip Hop Hits. The song reflected a menacing teen with a no-nonsense approach to life and music balancing between being captivating and fearsome. “Who Want Smoke?” is a frequent soundtrack to viral content on social media, with the most recent inclusion being Florida A&M’s marching band, the Marching 100, doing a live-rendition of the hit song during the halftime show for their game against Alabama State University. Hit-producer Cardo Got Wings laced Nardo for a last-minute request to appear on February’s Judas And The Black Messiah: The Inspired Album. That album topped the charts upon release, putting Nardo Wick alongside the biggest stars of Hip-Hop and R&B. Wick followed this with the Nick Mira-produced “Pull Up” in July. In August, Nardo released “I Be Chillin”, an exciting addition to his growing discography. Throughout the run, the budding rapper has received praise from Passion of the Weiss, Lyrical Lemonade, and DJ Booth, who included him in a recent “10 Rappers You Should Know Right Now” list. Recently COMPLEXnamed Nardo among their list of “Best Jacksonville Rappers.”

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