Ryan Tedder Slams 'Tone-Deaf' Artists Releasing Music Amid Coronavirus

Hitting all the wrong notes. One Republic singer Ryan Tedder called out musicians who are still promoting their work during the global coronavirus crisis.

The 40-year-old singer-songwriter shared his two cents about the ways that artists can be of service during the current pandemic during a conversation with USA Today on Monday, April 13. Though his band was planning on releasing a new song before summer, Tedder admitted “it’s really hard to get anyone to pay attention” to new music at a time like this.

“Nobody can compete with the news cycle right now,” he explained. “We have this huge record that we wanted to drop in mid-May that we now won’t. It’s a summer song, it’s like the Beach Boys, it feels like such a hit, but I’m not going to do it in the middle of a pandemic.”

The “Counting Stars” singer went on to explain that the only way he felt comfortable putting out a new project in this uncertain time was if his band was able to donate proceeds to charity. One Republic announced two weeks ago that profits from the song, called “Better Days,” would be going to the Red Cross.

“I felt weird saying, ‘Come buy my stuff, check me out.’ Meanwhile, people are sick and dying,” Tedder added. “It’s very tone-deaf. And unless you’re an artist who had a lot of momentum going into this pandemic, like The Weeknd or Dua Lipa, it’s really hard to get anyone to pay attention … I have a lot of songs with artists — Miley Cyrus, Diplo, Katy Perry — that were all supposed to be coming out in the next couple of months. Some of them might, but I can tell you that every single artist I’ve talked with is sitting there going, ‘Well, what do I do? Is it going to be a tree falling in a forest?’”

As the COVID-19 crisis grows more serious, a number of prominent artists have announced that they were postponing their tours or new albums until it was safe to gather in large groups again. While concerts might be on hold for the foreseeable future, Tedder has no doubt that the music industry will bounce back after social distancing precautions are safely lifted.

“Do I think 2021 might break every concert attendance record of any previous year in history? Absolutely,” the Songland star said. “The only thing we can do is put measures in place of preparedness, and we will be so freakin’ prepared for the next pandemic that we’ll be able to meet it head-on.”

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