Politics

Stacey Abrams & These Musicians Are Teaming Up for 'Rock the Runoff' Virtual Concert: Exclusive

Stacey Abrams
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Stacey Abrams arrives to speak at the National Action Network's annual convention, April 3, 2019 in New York City.

Stacey Abrams' Fair Fight organization has enlisted a number of local and national artists for a virtual concert ahead of Georgia's upcoming runoff election. Proceeds from Fair Fight's Rock the Runoff Virtual Concert will go towards the non-profits voter mobilization efforts.

John Legend, Common and Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie are scheduled to perform when the event airs online on Dec. 3 at 9 p.m. EST. Georgia-based groups Indigo Girls and Earthgang are also slated to perform. Additional artists are expected to be announced at a later date.

"Georgia is on everyone's mind because the future of our country and the issues we care about are on the line in the January 5, Senate runoffs," Legend said in a statement to Billboard. "We must do all we can to strengthen and support the Georgia-based organizations doing the work of educating and mobilizing voters. Abrams and Fair Fight have long been leaders in that effort, and I am glad to do my part."

Tickets for Rock the Runoff will range from $5 to $5,000, with the latter enabling attendees to attend a "pre-reception" with Abrams.

The announcement is the latest effort by Georgia politicians to utilize musicians to mobilize voters. On Nov. 19, Abrams appeared on video during Gucci Mane and Young Jeezy's Verzuz battle, encouraging viewers to vote. Prior to the general election, Atlanta-based duo Earthgang appeared on Instagram Live with their city's mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms, to encourage young fans to participate in the political process. Rapper Offset of Migos visited polling precincts, handing out food to voters as they waited in line. Killer Mike has also been a mainstay on Atlanta's political scene. Olu of Earthgang noted Atlanta's long civil rights legacy when discussing the duo's desire to be politically involved. "That's what we do where we're from. We all find a way to connect and give back."

Mobilization efforts are in full swing now that Georgia's runoffs will help determine which political party has control of the Senate. If Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock both secure victories against Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, respectively, they will knot the Senate's balance of power, allowing Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to cast tie-breaking votes as president of the chamber.

"We are excited to bring together a diverse set of world-renowned talent for Fair Fight's Rock The Runoff Virtual Concert. As we approach the January 5 Senate runoffs in Georgia, we must meet voters and supporters where they are; and reiterate how critical these elections are to the future of our nation," Abrams said in a statement to Billboard. "The issues that are vital to the survival of our communities are on the ballot in January. Georgia has proven its ability to turn out the multi-racial, multi-ethnic and multi-generational coalition needed to win, and we are poised to do it again on January 5."