YouTube and U.S. State Department Launch Global Music Diplomacy Initiative with Renowned Artists

This Monday, YouTube and the U.S. State Department announced a collaboration called the Global Music Diplomacy initiative at a livestreamed ceremony from the Department’s Treaty Room. Together, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Lyor Cohen, YouTube’s Global Head of Music, unveiled a group of artist and songwriters who will be U.S. Global Music Ambassadors.

In addition to the new U.S. Global Music Ambassadors, this partnership will focus on several key areas, including micro-grants for social impact, supporting the creative economy and implementing English language learning through music.

As a hub of global music culture, YouTube is uniquely positioned to roll out this initiative as part of a worldwide effort to elevate music as a diplomatic platform to promote peace and democracy. 

The Global Music Ambassadors represent different genres of music and generations of people. Some of the ambassadors include:

Chuck D is a pioneering rapper, author, and activist. As the frontman of Public Enemy, he delivered powerful messages on social and political issues through groundbreaking tracks like “Fight the Power” and “Don’t Believe the Hype.” With his commanding voice and incisive lyrics, Chuck D has cemented his place as a transformative figure in hip-hop and a vocal advocate for justice and equality.

Armani White is a rising rapper and singer known for his unique blend of hip-hop and R&B. Hailing from Philadelphia, he gained attention with his breakout single “Billie Eilish,” showcasing his energetic style and clever wordplay. Armani’s music often reflects personal experiences and emotional depth, earning him a growing fan base and critical acclaim. His innovative sound continues to make waves in the music industry.

BRELAND is a dynamic singer-songwriter and producer blending country, R&B, and hip-hop. Rising to fame with his viral song “My Truck,” he has since collaborated with major artists and carved a niche with his innovative sound. Known for his genre-defying music and engaging performances, BRELAND continues to push boundaries, solidifying his presence as a versatile and influential force in the music industry.

Denyce Graves is a renowned American mezzo-soprano celebrated for her rich, expressive voice and captivating stage presence. Acclaimed for her performances in roles like Carmen and Dalila, Graves has graced the world’s leading opera houses and concert stages. With a career spanning decades, she is known for her versatility, vocal prowess and dedication to the arts, making significant contributions to opera and inspiring audiences globally.

Herbie Hancock is a legendary jazz musician and bandleader renowned for his innovative contributions to jazz and fusion. With a career spanning over six decades, Hancock has released groundbreaking albums like “Head Hunters” and “Maiden Voyage.” A masterful pianist and composer, he has won multiple Grammy Awards and remains a pivotal figure in music, constantly pushing the boundaries of jazz and influencing countless artists worldwide.

This new partnership emerged from the bipartisan PEACE Through Music Diplomacy Act, a 2022 law enabling the State Department to collaborate with the private sector in creating and executing music-related exchange programs.

Updated: June 27, 2024 — 9:02 am