In Tribute to George Floyd, Jamaican singer Tony Anthony Releases “Wake up Everybody”

In Tribute to George Floyd, Jamaican singer Tony Anthony Releases "Wake up Everybody"

Tony Anthony

by Howard Campbell

TORONTO, Canada – The murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25 sparked International outrage and galvanized a passionate stance against racism. In Canada, Jamaican singer Tony Anthony was inspired to release, “Wake up Everybody”.

His self-produced reggae version of the Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes classic was released five days after the tragic incident which saw Floyd being killed after a police officer placed the weight of his knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

“Yes, the George Floyd incident was absolutely a catalyst for the release Wake up Everybody.  I recorded this song about one year ago when I decided to create an album of remake classics. It was one of the first songs I chose in part because Teddy Pendergrass is one of my favorite vocalists of all time,” Anthony explained. “Additionally, the powerful lyrics of this song written over 40 years ago is still very relevant today.”

Pendergrass was lead singer of Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes which enjoyed a number of hit songs with Philadelphia International Records during the 1970s.

Co-written by John Whitehead and Gene McFadden, Wake up Everybody called for brotherhood at a time when the United States and Russia were embroiled in a Cold War.

The Toronto-based Anthony covered it for his album, Then Now & Forever, which was released in 2019.

“I recently released it as a single, because like many others, I am tired of seeing the unjust, biased and racist treatment of black people by the hands police and society on a whole.  The current COVID-19 pandemic has also shone a light on the inequality where people of color is concerned,” he said. “I strongly believe that as a people we need to wake up and demand change, which can only come if we continue to stand up and fight for our right to be treated equally.”

David Chauvin, the police officer who kneeled on Floyd’s neck, has been charged with second degree murder. His three colleagues, who were with him at the time he arrested 46 year-old Floyd for allegedly passing counterfeit money, have been charged with aiding and abetting Chauvin with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

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