Taylor Swift is helping to keep an indie record store in the heart of Nashville alive during the coronavirus pandemic.
Nashville’s mayor issued a stay-at-home order, and retail outlets are closing their doors. Many employees were sent home as they were considered non-essential; Grimey’s owners thought they might need to close for good. But the indie record store got an unexpected life preserver from Taylor Swift, who is supplying the local shop with money to pay employees and three months’ worth of health care.
A source close to the situation confirmed the news to Rolling Stone: “We were very surprised, and I would have to say amazed, that Taylor Swift reached out to us through her publicist to offer some relief during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Grimey’s co-owner said in a statement.
Swift is no stranger to donating to causes in Tennessee and Nashville in particular. When a tornado ripped through downtown Nashville in March, Swift donated $1 million for tornado relief.
“Nashville is my home, and the fact that so many people have lost their homes and so much more in Middle Tennessee is devastating to me,” the singer said of that tragedy.
While thousands of music festivals and events have been canceled or postponed, Record Store Day was also nixed. This year’s RSD date is being postponed until June because of the coronavirus pandemic. The new date for Record Store Day is tentatively set for June 20th, though it may have to be pushed back a second time or canceled altogether. The last two Record Store Days have seen soaring sales and attendance in the United States, which makes the shutdown particularly painful.
Meanwhile, the U.S. government has passed a record $2.2 trillion stimulus package to help Americans weather the storm. Music professionals who are impacted can learn how to request help here.