Juneteenth (June 19), also known as Emancipation Day and Freedom Day, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. On June 17, President Biden signed legislation to make Juneteenth a federal holiday.
The Apple Music Playlist features both original songs and cover songs. Read about the country artists' contributions to the playlist below.
"Worldwide Beautiful," Kane Brown
"I wish the world would listen more instead of everybody yelling at each other," Kane Brown tells Apple Music. "That's how we'll work this thing out, when everybody can just realize we're all people deserving of each other's love and respect."
"Kiss An Angel Good Mornin'," Jimmie Allen
"The simplicity in the lyrics, and the uniqueness in the vocal to where it's a song that people can relate to," Allen says of Pride's country music classic. "Yet Charley did it in his own way. I take that same concept and I apply it to my artistry. I give people lyrics and a story they can relate to--in a way only Jimmie Allen can."
"Redemption Song," Willie Jones
"When I grew up, Juneteenth wasn't a national recognized holiday, nor was it taught in my school in Shreveport," Willie Jones says. "But as I got older, and heard about it, I researched it myself and realized the significance for our people."
Jones covered Bob Marley's "Redemption Song" for the playlist.
"'Redemption Song' always spoke to me," Jones says. "This the most stripped-down song Bob Marley has, just simple guitar and vocal, so I just get lost in the message. The lyric that gets me every time is 'Emancipate yourself from mental slavery/None but ourselves can free our minds.' That's one of the most powerful lyrics and truest lyrics ever written and is extremely relevant as we celebrate Juneteenth."
Apple Music's Juneteenth 2021 Freedom Songs Playlist:
Black Thought (Original Song "Approximately Free")
D Smoke (Original Song called "Kinfolk")
H.E.R. (Cover of "Inner City Blues" by Marvin Gaye)
Hit-Boy (Original Song "Back In Traffic")
Jimmie Allen (Cover of Charley Pride's "Kiss An Angel Good Mornin")
Kirk Franklin (Cover of "We Shall Overcome" called "Overcome 2021")
Madison Calley (Cover of "Lift Every Voice And Sing")
Maverick City Music (Original Song "Breathe")
Tobe Nwigwe (Original Song "Passing Through")
Willie Jones (Cover of Bob Marley's "Redemption Song")
Amaarae (Cover of Herbie Hancock's "Butterfly")
Tems (Cover of John Legend's "Ordinary People")
Zeal & Ardor (Original Song "Calloway")
Sech (Original Song "Somos Iguales")
Kane Brown (A reimagining of his own song "Worldwide Beautiful")
Saba (Original Song "Black Astronaut")
Honey Dijon (Original Song "Unleash")
Chloe x Halle (Cover of TLC's "Waterfalls")
Jean Dawson (Original song "Ghost*")
Terrace Martin & Brandee Younger (Cover Song "Damage")