The American Idol season 20 premiere closed with a powerful original song from Taylor Fagins. The 26 year old singer-songwriter from New York City penned an emotional song that centered around unarmed black people who had been killed.
The piano driven ballad, “We Need More,” began with a line about Ahmaud Arbery, who had been chased down by a vigilante squad as he was jogging in a Glynn County, Georgia neighborhood.
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Now, the family of Arbery are speaking out about the performance. The slain 25 year old man’s aunt, Ruby Arbery, spoke to WJCL News after she watched the moving performance.
“I thank you from the Arbery family” said Ahmaud’s aunt
“I pray that he make it to the top with that song, because that song was very touching,” she said. “Because any time I hear about Ahmaud running. I knew he was running to keep his mind clear.”
Arberry’s aunt continued, “For him to make a song about it, that the world could hear it, and remember, and know that these young generation got killed…and it shouldn’t have never happened with none of them.” She concluded, “I thank you from the Arbery family. I love the song.”
Watch the WJCL report below
The song’s lyrics go: “Ahmaud Arbery/You went for a run ’cause you probably felt free/…your run had an end that nobody could see/Little black boys don’t run outside/they run away from red and white blue lights/.” The song also included lyrics about Breonna Taylor whom police shot in her bed during a mistaken no-knock raid.
“We need your song in 2022,” said judge Lionel Richie
After Taylor finished singing his moving song, a visibly moved, judge Lionel Richie noted how songs like Taylor’s were there in the 60s too. He added, ‘What I’m emotional about is, we need your song in 2022. How disgusting.” He added, “That was very powerful. I’m very proud of you.” Lionel, and fellow judges Katy Perry and Luke Bryan advanced Taylor to the next round.
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Police made no arrests in the Arbery case for more than two months, and only after one of the killer’s videos of the chase went viral. Ultimately all three men involved where found guilty in a court of law.
“A song about racial justice should be a thing, but it is, Taylor said in a post-performance interview.