Coronavirus hits music industry, causing artists to delay releases and concerts

Illustration by Ricardo Rodriguez

Iman Mekonen, Spectrum Editor 

Fabiana Acosta, Contributing Writer

As the impact of COVID-19 grows with the rising number of confirmed cases worldwide, many musicians are delaying album release dates and tours in the name of safety precautions, like avoiding travel and mass gatherings.

Artists such as Lady Gaga, Haim, Alicia Keys and Billie Eilish have delayed or postponed the release dates of their upcoming tours and albums as an act to promote social distancing.

Lady Gaga delayed the release of her upcoming sixth studio album, “Chromatica,” the follow up to her 2016 release, “Joanne.”

“This is such a hectic and scary time for all of us, and while I believe art is one of the strongest things, we have to provide joy and healing to each other in times like this,” the artist said in an Instagram post. “It just doesn’t feel right to me to release this album with all that is going on during this global pandemic.” 

“Chromatica” was originally set to release on April 10. Her single, “Stupid Love,” is the first and only from the album so far, which was released on Feb. 28. 

Former One Direction singer Harry Styles postponed his European tour, until 2021, due to the escalation of the pandemic. Styles posted the announcements on Instagram and Twitter along with a message to fans to stay at home and follow self isolation. 

“Anyone who knows me, knows that performing has always been my favorite part of working in music,” Styles said in an Instagram post. “However, during times like these, the safety and protection of touring crew, fans and everyone else around the world is an immediate priority.” 

The European tour is a part of a series of tours that follow the release of his 2019 album, “Fine Line.” 

In contrast to the artists who delayed the release of albums and postponing tour dates, a handful of artists, such as The Weeknd and Childish Gambino, have begun to release new music and proceed with original album release dates. 

The Weeknd continued with the release of his fourth album, “After Hours” on March 20, the highly-anticipated follow up to 2016’s “Starboy.”

As of March 24, “After Hours” has surpassed a billion streams on Spotify. 

Similarly, Childish Gambino released a surprise album titled “3.15.20” on March 20, with no prior announcement. “3.15.20” includes features from big-name musicians such as Ariana Grande and 21 Savage.

The cancelations may come as a disappointment to many fans who were anticipating their favorite artists’ album releases and tours — to combat this disappointment, artists have broadcast at-home concerts with platforms such as Instagram. Some have increased their online interactions and taken requests from fans.

John Legend, Coldplay and Hozier have turned to Instagram to stream performances. Part of Global Citizen’s “Together At Home” daily series emphasizes the importance of staying home.

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