Hip-hop came out in force online to pay tribute to the late Breonna Taylor on what would have been her 27th birthday. The Louisville native was fatally shot by Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) officers on March 13, 2020 while serving a “no-knock warrant” for selling controlled substances. Taylor was shot eight times after her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, opened fire on what he believed to be intruders who hadn’t announced themselves as police officers. No drugs were found in the apartment. Taylor’s death, along with those of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd, sparked nationwide protests against police brutality.
Taylor, who was an EMT for University of Louisville Jewish Hospital and Norton Healthcare, would have been 27 today. Her birthday became a rallying cry for the #SayHerName social media movement which calls attention to the Black, female victims of police violence who are ordinarily overlooked by some who choose to focus on the Black men killed by police. Among the artists paying tribute to Breonna Taylor were stars like Alicia Keys, Ari Lennox, Chance The Rapper, Charli XCX, Chika, Earthgang, Janelle Monae, Jhene Aiko, Kash Doll, Kehlani, Lil Dicky, Missy Elliott, Nas, Rapsody, and more. Many shared resources to organizations combatting police violence and advocating for justice reform.
See some of the tributes to Breonna Taylor below.
Today would have been #BreonnaTaylor’s 27th birthday.
She was an essential worker murdered by the police while she was sleeping.
She should be alive to celebrate! But instead no charges have been issued and no arrests have been made with the officers involved. pic.twitter.com/KzYHgK3utw
— Alicia Keys (@aliciakeys) June 5, 2020
— Charli (@charli_xcx) June 5, 2020
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BLACK WOMEN. We love you. We will always speak up for you and protect you with our lives. Breonna Taylor’s birthday is today. I ask that you visit the link in my bio and donate and contribute to the platforms @monroesteele has comprised. BLACK MEN, Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend never hesitated to protect his woman by any means necessary. Let his bravery be an example to us all on loving our women unconditionally. #BlackLivesMatter
— Janelle Monáe, Cindi Mayweather (@JanelleMonae) June 5, 2020
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HAPPY BIRTHDAY BEAUTIFUL BREONNA TAYLOR. so much more than a hashtag. @imyagirleva incredible piece. #Repost @imyagirleva For what would have been Breonna Taylor’s 27th birthday, I wrote a public eulogy for @teenvogue honoring and uplifting her life and legacy, with the help of her mother, sister, cousins, and best friends. After hearing about how Breonna touched the lives of those around her, I feel like I knew her. I want to be just like her, compassionate, caring, joyous, and determined. This piece is dedicated to Breonna and those she loved. This piece is dedicated to black women who mold soil into mineral. This piece is dedicated to the lives we live. I urge you to remember us in full, and not by how we end. To get to know Breonna, visit the link in my bio. I hope this piece encourages you to fight for Breonna, and for yourself. #BreeWay
— Dave (@lildickytweets) June 5, 2020
Some artists mentioned here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.