By Melissa Ruggieri, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Dec 3, 2020
With early voting for the Georgia Senate runoff election starting on Dec. 14, members of the entertainment community are publicly uniting to promote the importance of the vote.
On Dec. 16, “Hamilton” mastermind Lin-Manuel Miranda will pair with Pearl Jam for a virtual fundraiser to benefit the Latino Victory Project, Latino Community Fund of Georgia and The Hispanic Federation.
Hosted by Columbus native Wayne Brady, the event will be held on virtual venue Looped at 8:30 p.m. and feature Miranda and the band discussing their artistic inspirations as well as their desire to use their platforms for change.
Tickets are $10 (purchase here) and proceeds will be directed toward mobilizing the state’s Latino community through mailers, bus tours, and text and phone banking.
Also getting involved prior to the Jan. 5 runoff election are another group of Georgia musicians including Spin Doctors drummer Aaron Comess, keyboardist Ben Stivers, singer Danielia Cotton and rapper Mickey Factz.
The group has released a pulsing reinterpretation of “Georgia on My Mind” (forever associated with Georgia native Ray Charles) with lyrics that touch on systemic racism, voter suppression and the importance of the Black vote while also name checking Stacey Abrams and deceased U.S. Rep. John Lewis. The accompany video is a collection of news footage from the past 60 years of political history, including current scenes of ballot counting and political rallies.
“I refuse to be inactive in this moment or any other moment like this,” Cotton said. “To be able to use my voice to educate and make others aware of what’s at stake seems natural and the right thing to do.”
Melissa Ruggieri has covered music and entertainment for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution since 2010 and created the Atlanta Music Scene blog. She's kept vampire hours for more than two decades and remembers when MTV was awesome.