Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Others Perform At Tidal Concert In NYC

Jay-Z and Beyoncé were joined by a slew of artists including Nicki Minaj and Usher at Barclays Center in Brooklyn Tuesday night for a charity concert put on by the streaming service Tidal that covered rap, R&B, reggae and even a little country.

The concert, was a little like streaming a musical hit parade, as most of the artists only sang one song, and even major stars like Jay-Z and Beyoncé kept to short sets. The goal of the event was to raise funds that would be given to the New World Foundation, an organization that funds social movements.

Photo: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
Arriving at TIDAL X: 1020 Amplified by HTC at the Barclays Center in New York.

Concert organizers said all money from ticket prices was going to the charity, estimated to be about $1 million.

Jay-Z and other artists announced in March that they were the co-owners of Tidal, which was presented as the first artist-owned music and video platform. It’s a membership-based service that offers subscribers two levels – $10 for standard sound quality and $20 for high fidelity sound quality. Jay-Z said last month that the service had gotten to one million subscribers. But the service has struggled against competitors like Spotify and Pandora, which offer free subscriptions.

At Tuesday’s concert, there were just a few passing references to Tidal. There also were some videos with people talking about making the world a better place, but nothing about the organization that is getting the money from the show.

Jay-Z told the crowd the event wasn’t a one-off. “This is our first annual event,” he told the cheering crowd.

Most of the artists performed well-known hits that received rousing responses from the packed arena. Usher was an exception to the slew of old favorites, performing his new single, “Chains,” which focuses on racial injustice. He put the song out last week through Tidal.

Other artists who performed at the concert included rappers T.I., Rick Ross, Lil Wayne and Meek Mill, reggae performer Damian Marley, country singer Thomas Rhett, French band Indochine, and singers Nick Jonas, Alessia Cara and Justine Skye. At the concert, it was announced that Marley had become one of Tidal’s artist-owners.

Tidal’s list of co-owners also includes Madonna, Rihanna, Kanye West and Alicia Keys.