MusiCares’ $14 Million COVID-19 Relief Fund Has Been Depleted

MusiCares relief fund

Photo Credit: MusiCares

The Recording Academy and MusiCares’ $14 million COVID-19 Relief Fund has been depleted, and the organizations have temporarily ceased accepting new applications for financial support.

As first reported by Digital Music News, the Recording Academy and MusiCares debuted the COVID-19 Relief Fund back in March, in an effort to help music-community members who are struggling financially amid the novel coronavirus crisis. Both organizations (MusiCares is the Recording Academy’s charitable wing) kicked the fundraising initiative off with a $1 million donation.

In the interim, the COVID-19 Relief Fund raised an impressive $14 or so million, thanks to contributions from individuals, as well as companies including SiriusXM, Pandora, Spotify, and many others. Some 20,000 music industry professionals and performers have been assisted with the funds, according to MusiCares, but more capital is required before additional aid can be distributed.

Until donations replenish the COVID-19 Relief Fund and enable MusiCares and the Recording Academy to resume dispersing cash, the organizations will continue to advocate for government assistance, guide musicians, and develop long-term plans for the revitalization and growth of the music industry, according to MusiCares’ statement.

MusiCares hasn’t yet specified an exact timetable for the COVID-19 Relief Fund’s resuming normal operations.

Companies, artists, and other segments of the music community are stepping up to support those who are being hit hardest – medically and financially – by the COVID-19 pandemic. Post Malone’s livestreamed Nirvana-cover concert recently raised approximately $3 million for coronavirus relief, while Rihanna, Beyoncé, and Jay-Z are among the prominent artists who’ve pledged multimillion-dollar coronavirus relief packages personally or via their charitable organizations.

Collection societies and organizations, for their part, have also been successful in raising funds to help those suffering because of the pandemic. Earlier this week, for instance, PRS for Music reached out to Digital Music News and revealed that it had secured $2.6 million for its members.

Yesterday, the Recording Academy announced that Valeisha Butterfield Jones will serve as its chief diversity and inclusion officer, on the heels of an ugly dispute with former CEO Deborah Dugan.

3 Responses

  1. Avatar
    Tom Hendricks

    1% of musicians make 70% of all the money in the entire music industry. They also have the responsibility to do 70% of all charitable giving.
    Time to replenish the fund by these greedy few, and not by the thousands and thousands of musicians marginalized out of careers and making less than 15k = minimum wage.
    When this is over the music industry will be built on talent not promotion, and the big players will have greeded themselves out of careers. The music revolution that is on your doorstep is for all musicians.

    • Avatar
      Roger

      Tom, we need a Revolution in the music business but this revolution has to come from the musicians. Who makes the music? And who should get the majority of revenues from the sale of music? The musicians of course! Instead the musicians get next to nothing and the middle men control everything. Ten years ago I suggested the musicians needed a better Platform owned and controlled by them with all the money going directly to them. And I gained support from many people in the Beatles camp and many other bands. Problem is most musicians are broke and nobody wanted to help me build this new Platform. And so the big corporations continue to control the music business with Payola and sadly the Radio stations are more interested in making money than playing good music. Not sure how you think we can initiate change and start a revolution? 99% of musicians losing money providing the fans with music on Spotify and Youtube is also a disaster for hard working musicians. All we have is extreme poverty and very few artists owned and marketed by the big corps where most of the money still goes to the middle man. Maybe you have a solution but I really don’t see any way to change this without MONEY and the musicians have no money! And FREE MUSIC is a disaster for artists who get no budget to make quality music. Try making another Sgt. Pepper on zero budget! [email protected], in CA

  2. Avatar
    Roger

    Tom, these are desperate times in the music business. A free music era plus now no gigs. 60% of Pros have already left the business. And we need a Revolution but this revolution has to come from the musicians. Who makes the music? And who should get the majority of revenues from the sale of music? The musicians of course! Instead the musicians get next to nothing and the middle men control everything. Ten years ago I suggested the musicians needed a better Platform owned and controlled by them with all the money going directly to them. And I gained support from many people in the Beatles camp and many other bands. Problem is most musicians are broke and nobody wanted to help me build this new Platform. And so the big corporations continue to control the music business with Payola and sadly the Radio stations are more interested in making money than playing good music. Not sure how you think we can initiate change and start a revolution? 99% of musicians losing money providing the fans with music on Spotify and Youtube is also a disaster for hard working musicians. All we have is extreme poverty and very few 1% artists owned and marketed by the big corps where most of the money still goes to the middle men. Maybe you have a solution but I really don’t see any way to change this without MONEY and the musicians have no money! Roger ([email protected]), in CA