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Allison Russell Calls Out ‘Bigotry’ From Tennessee’s GOP for Blocking a Resolution Honoring Her Grammy Win

Mr. Nimbus | 02/15/2024

Folk singer-songwriter Allison Russell made history with her first Grammy win this year for best American roots performance. While her win presents a cause to celebrate for many, some in Tennessee’s statehouse aren’t interested in congratulating the singer.

On Monday (Feb. 12), Tennessee Democratic Rep. Justin Jones criticized the House Republican Caucus Chair Jeremy Faison for blocking a resolution he proposed to honor Russell for her first win at the Grammys. While a similar resolution honoring Paramore for winning two Grammys — for best rock album and best alternative music performance, respectively — passed, Faison objected to the resolution honoring Russell, removing the resolution from the chamber’s consent calendar.

Rep. Jones vented his frustrations on X about his colleagues snubbing Russell. “Tonight my Republican colleagues blocked a resolution honoring Black American Roots artist Allison Russell for her first Grammy win,” he wrote. “[She] has worked tirelessly to foster an inclusive Nashville through her music and continues to make Black History here in Tennessee.”

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In response, Russell thanked the representative, as well as Rep. Gloria Johnson, for standing up to Faison. “That you & [Rep. Johnson] presented this resolution is a high honour,” she wrote. “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.”

Billboard has reached out to representatives for Russell for additional comment.

Both Russell and Paramore’s Hayley Williams have been outspoken against Tennessee Republicans, specifically calling out a pair of anti-LGBTQ bills that passed in March 2023, which effectively banned gender-affirming care for transgender youth throughout the state and banned public drag performances. While the so-called drag ban has since been deemed unconstitutional by a federal judge, the state’s ban of gender-affirming care was upheld by a federal court in September 2023.

In protest of the Tennessee legislature passing these anti-LGBTQ laws, Russell helped organize Love Rising, a benefit concert for the LGBTQ community that took place at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on March 20. Williams served as one of the headliners for the event, alongside Russell, Maren Morris, Jason Isbell, Sheryl Crow and more.

Speaking to Billboard last year, Russell thanked Williams specifically for participating in Love Rising. “It’s people like Hayley [Williams] taking a red-eye flight to come back from opening for Taylor Swift, because she said she’d rather die than not be there to support the trans and drag community in Tennessee,” she said. “These incredible allies are so important.”

Check out Rep. Jones and Russell’s posts below:

This post was originally published on this site

Written by Mr. Nimbus

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