Many celebrities have spoken out in support of the city of Baltimore in the aftermath of the death of Freddie Gray.
Now the legendary pop icon Prince is adding his voice to the chorus of social conscious stars by recording a new song inspired by the unrest following Gray’s death. The song “addresses the unrest in Baltimore and the socio/political issues around the country in the wake of a slew of killings of young black men,” according to information supplied to NBC by the singer’s publicist.
The track’s release date has not been determined, but the single’s artwork is already available.
This isn’t the “Purple Rain” singer’s first foray into politically charged music. In 1981, his song “Ronnie, Talk to Russia” touched on anxieties over the nuclear arms race. His classic 1987 hit “Sign of the Times” addressed the AIDS epidemic and drug use. And the music video for his 2004 song “Cinnamon Girl” dealt with Islamaphobia following September 11th. The video caused controversy for depicting an Arab-American teenager imagining herself as a suicide bomber after being bullied.
Earlier this week, one of Prince’s muses, Beyoncé, instagrammed support for Baltimore saying: “People are hurting. Join us in supporting the NAACP to help in the cleanup efforts and to provide housing, food and supplies to those affected by the unrest in Baltimore.”
Baltimore-based band Future Islands dedicated their musical performance on the “Late Show with David Letterman” to the protesters in their hometown, saying “Let us not discount their voices, or the voices of all the people in the cities that we live [in] and love,” before performing their new single “The Chase.”
On Friday, six Baltimore police officers were charged Friday in the death of Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died while in police custody after suffering a severe spinal cord injury.