At the 2024 Grammy Awards, Paramore formally won their first two trophies: Best Rock Album (for This Is Why) and Best Alternative Music Performance (for “This Is Why”). Another Tennessee-based artist also won her first Grammy: Eight-time nominee Allison Russell earned Best American Roots Performance for “Eve Was Black.”

In celebration, Nashville Democrat Justin Jones proposed house resolutions to honor the achievements. The resolution for Paramore (a band of white musicians from Tennessee) passed the state’s House of Representatives unanimously. The resolution for Russell (a Canadian-born Black artist who made her name in Nashville) was referred back to committee, a procedural move that The Tennessean’s Melissa Brown and Marcus K. Dowling have described as “a death knell for resolutions.”

After the resolution was sent back to committee, Jones posted on X, “Tonight my Republican colleagues blocked a resolution honoring Black American Roots artist Allison Russell for her first Grammy win.”

He continued, “[Allison Russell] has worked tirelessly to foster an inclusive Nashville through her music and continues to make Black History here in Tennessee.✊🏾.”

On Instagram, Russell thanked Jones and Knoxville Democrat Gloria Johnson, writing to Jones, “That you & @votegloriaj presented this resolution is a high honour. That the TN GOP blocked it, I take as a compliment. Their bigotry, sadly, is on relentless display. We have a chance this year to make a real change in TN!”

In an Instagram story, Paramore wrote, “Paramore will not accept any acknowledgment or honor from the TN House until Allison Russell is given the same recognition.” In addition, in a new statement to The Tennessean, Paramore’s Hayley Williams said, “The blatant racism of our state leadership is embarrassing and cruel. Myself, as well as Paramore, will continue to encourage young people to show up to vote with equality in mind.” Find her full statement below.

Paramore got their start in Franklin, Tennessee, in the early 2000s. Currently, the band is based in Nashville.

Allison Russell is a Montreal, Quebec, native, but she has made her name in music in Nashville, recording her debut solo album, 2019’s Outside Child, in the Tennessee city. Last year, she helped organize Nashville’s Love Rising benefit show in Tennessee’s then-new law banning drag performances in the state. Hayley Williams was among the concert’s performers.

Hayley Williams to The Tennessean:

This week, Rep. Justin Jones put forth resolutions to honor my band, Paramore and another local-to-Nashville artist, Allison Russell, on our recent Grammy wins (as far as I can tell these resolutions have no legal weight to them. They’re like a big high five or when the whole restaurant joins in to sing you “Happy Birthday”).

House Republicans only let the measure that acknowledged Paramore’s win pass. They blocked Allison’s.

For those that don’t know, Allison Russell is an incredibly talented musician and songwriter. Her music spans genres with strong ties to the Folk/Americana scenes. You might have seen her on the Grammy stage performing with the great Joni Mitchell.

Oh, she is also Black. She’s a brilliant Black woman.

The blatant racism of our state leadership is embarrassing and cruel. Myself, as well as Paramore, will continue to encourage young people to show up to vote with equality in mind.

I’d like to say thank you to Brother Jones for your steadfast commitment to your community.

And thank you to Allison Russell for using your voice and artistry to band people together, not tear them apart. CONGRATS on your incredible Grammy night.

On behalf of Paramore, Happy Black History Month.

Source link