Singer Erykah Badu isn’t letting the coronavirus pandemic shut down her career.
The enterprising pop star recently launched her “Quarantine Concert Series” from the safety of her bedroom, charging $1 for a live stream in which she performs with band members who are wearing face masks.
The first installment of the series, titled “Apocalypse One,” took place Monday, with Badu reportedly speaking about the economic reality that musicians are facing due to the coronavirus outbreak, which has forced many of them to cancel lucrative engagements.
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“I got a house full of masked engineers, musicians, techs, who are all out of work… We have a few band members that’s stuck in other states… I called them earlier and told them today, y’all still on the payroll even though y’all not here,” she said, according to the New York Post.
Badu said that record label deals usually favor the label, forcing artists to rely more heavily on live performances for income. “We’re not rich people,” she commented. “We just play rich people on TV. This is how we make our living and some of us only have one form of income and that’s shows. I wanted to create another revenue of income and you’re helping me do that in a big way.”
Pop stars have seen their live performance gigs evaporate as the global coronavirus pandemic has forced concert and tour promoters to scrap their plans for the foreseeable future. Artists including Billie Eilish, Madonna, BTS, and Green Day have had to postpone or cancel their upcoming engagements.
“We gotta keep moving ya’ll, we gotta keep this thing going,” Badu said in a recent video posted to Twitter. “We’re a community of artists. Our survival depends on performing, creating, laughing, living, and loving.”