A 60-year-old father who calls himself “The Undiscovered Artist” has penned a powerful but controversial tune about the coronavirus after his 39-year-old son was denied a test. It is called the “Coronavirus Song (The Rona Song) and it creatively represents a voice with which most in the Black community can easily resonate as reports continue to reveal that many African Americans are being denied tests and thus are dying from COVID-19 at higher rates.
The Undiscovered Artist, whose real name is Irvin Lee, hails from the greater Washington area. He says the personal experience motivated him to write, produce and sing the song.
“It was very scary,” Lee said. “My son was experiencing shortness of breath and other symptoms and immediately began self-isolating himself to try and protect his family. But when he went to the Emergency Room to try and get a diagnosis, they told him that he didn’t qualify for a test even though he has health insurance. This angered me.”
Thankfully his son turned out to be OK. The whole experience, however, inspired him to create a song to which others facing similar experiences may be able to relate.
The song, which took him just two weeks to complete serves as a perspective that millions in the Black community can understand. It speaks to the confusion, frustration and disappointment that many are feeling as local and national data confirms that not only are African Americans more likely to die from coronavirus but many Blacks continue to be denied testing.
“I had to write a song to capture this,” Lee says. “My style of writing is heavily influenced by artists like Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye who, during their time, created music about the struggles and injustices with which many people had to deal.”
Officially titled the “Coronavirus Song (The Rona Song)” by The Undiscovered Artist, the song can be heard online at CoronavirusSong.com and streamed on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music, Tidal, Google Music Play and more.
Lee says he will donate a portion of the proceeds to families affected by COVID-19. He is also using the song as the perfect opportunity to kick off his very own independent record label called Music U Can Feel, which promises to release more compelling songs about serious topics.
Yes, Blacks are being denied tests with deadly results
#1 – According to NBC News, 63-year-old Deborah Gatewood from Detroit was a health care worker who was denied a test three times from the very hospital where she worked. Sadly, she died from the virus just two weeks later.
#2 – Twenty-five-year-old Bassey Offiong, according to Detroit News, was a college student at Western Michigan University. He was denied a test multiple times and consequently died fighting the virus just a few weeks before he was set to graduate.
#3 – According to USA Today, 56-year-old Gary Fowler “begged” for a test but was turned away multiple times. He later died at home.
#4 – The Guardian reports that Kayla Williams, a 36-year-old single mother of three from London also died from the virus just a day after she called emergency services and was told that she could not be admitted to a hospital because she was not a “priority.”
#5 – Most recently, CBS News has confirmed that 30-year-old Rana Zoe Mungin, a social studies teacher from Brooklyn, was rushed to the hospital three times and denied a test each time. She later died after being placed on life support for about a month.