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Published on September 8th, 2020 | by Jerry Doby


Crown Royal Continues Mission To Support Bars, Stages And Clubs, Launching Relief Campaign

Ari Lennox and Anthony Ramos Recreate “If You Want Me to Stay” to Ignite Brand’s Efforts

It is reported that in 2020, more than 90 percent of independent venues including bars, stages and clubs are at risk of disappearing. These iconic venues, that employ around 15.6 million people across the U.S., are in danger of closing forever as communities continue to battle the business impacts of COVID-19. In response and as part of its continued efforts to inspire generosity, Crown Royal is launching a renewed effort in support of these cultural landmarks. In partnership with Main Street Alliance, Crown Royal is launching a robust relief campaign to help America’s favorite bars, stages and clubs.

To kickstart the relief effort, Crown Royal teamed up with renowned artists Ari Lennox, Anthony Ramos and music powerhouses Dreamville/Interscope and Republic Records to recreate the famed Sly and the Family Stone song, “If You Want Me to Stay.” The song is currently available on all major streaming platforms – listen now to help (HERE).

For every stream of the track, Crown Royal will donate funds to Main Street Alliance, helping venues across America. Main Street Alliance is a nonprofit organization committed to supporting small businesses in the United States, focusing on elevating small business voices on policies that level the playing field so small businesses can be creators of good jobs in communities across the country.

“Whether the music we listen to, the sports we watch or the great conversations we have, these landmarks represent the vibrancy of culture in bringing people from all walks of life together,” said Sophie Kelly, Senior Vice President of Whiskies at Diageo. “As a brand built on giving back, it is our responsibility to create opportunities that champion the communities, places and spaces that have always been there for us. We’re thrilled to work with these talented partners and hope people will stream this song, so we can make real impact.”

As a part of this collaboration, Ari and Anthony will also be donating their royalties from the song to the cause. In solidarity, and for the next year, both Dreamville/Interscope and Republic Records will match the artists’ royalties with a donation to Main Street Alliance.

“I was honored to be a part of this project with Crown Royal, where Anthony and I were able to use our passions for music to give back during these unprecedented times,” said Ari Lennox. “Our hope is that people will connect with this cover as much as they did with the original. Ultimately, we want to bridge together generations of music lovers, while encouraging everyone to support local communities.”

“I am excited to continue my partnership with Crown Royal and give back to bars, stages and clubs,” said Anthony Ramos. “I have always loved what Crown Royal stands for, and this project has motivated me to put in 110% towards the art I put out as we look to directly help these small businesses survive.”

As part of an integrated initiative, Ari and Anthony will perform the cover in a new Crown Royal television ad campaign, airing nationwide, that highlights affected venues. The spots are also available to view on YouTube. The track’s official music video will launch next week on Ari Lennox’s official Vevo channel.

In a continued effort by DIAGEO to support Free the Bid, the campaign was directed by renowned director Karena Evans, whose vision and leadership helped bring the TV commercials and music video to life. Anomaly New York serves as the lead creative agency behind this purpose-driven campaign.

Furthermore, as some venues begin to reopen their doors, Crown Royal will also supply updated point of sale assets, provide training with brand ambassadors and create a sustained effort to raise additional charitable funds through sponsored events.

Help Crown Royal support bars, stages and clubs and the people who make those venues special by streaming the “If You Want Me to Stay” track and visiting As always, please drink responsibly and raise a glass to generosity.

About the Author

Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, and internationally published arts & entertainment journalist. Member of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture as well as the United States Press Corps.

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