Everybody who loves country music knows how much this year without live music has been a tough pill to swallow.
Not just for the fans. Not just for the artists. But for the touring musicians, who know that a year without live music means a year without any income.
So Thomas Rhett has decided to do something about it. In a recent Labor Day radio interview, he shared the epiphany he had about how hard the COVID quarantine has been on all the touring musicians in Nashville.
“I got back together with my band this week, man, and it just kind of re-hit me again,” Thomas Rhett said, “just knowing that there’s so many bands across America that just do not have any work right now. I’ve heard a bunch of stories of bands selling their guitars, their pianos and their bass rigs, literally just to pay rent during this pandemic, and that’s just unacceptable.
“So, this is the best I know how to give back directly.”
While he had always intended for a portion of the proceeds from “Be a Light” — his uplifting collaboration with Reba McEntire, Hillary Scott, Chris Tomlin and Keith Urban — go to MusicCares, Thomas Rhett is now donating all of the proceeds to the Grammy’s relief efforts. MusiCares provides health, financial and rehabilitation assistance to people in the music industry in times of need. “Please join us to help keep the music community alive and thriving, giving it as much as it gives us,” the website asks.
“Even since the beginning, me and the label had decided to donate a portion of our royalties to MusiCares to help a bunch of the band and crews across America,” he added. “And then as the thing has gone on, I was like, ‘We’ve gotta do a bigger part.’ So, I’ve just decided to donate all my royalties of this song straight to MusiCares.”
Thomas Rhett wrote the song with Matt Dragstrem, Josh Miller and Josh Thompson back in 2019, but decided to release it in March of this year, just as the pandemic was starting to get serious and the future of live music was starting to look bleak.