After months of concerts and performances being canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, live music has returned -- at protests and rallies across the country.
Citizens in all 50 states and several countries around the world have taken to the streets following the death of Minneapolis man George Floyd last week. The demonstrations have been moving, and at times, contentious, but moments of unity and celebration have also been widespread and shared on social media.
Demonstrators in front of the White House in Washington, D.C. had a peaceful celebration together on Wednesday, when musician Kenny Sway led the crowd in a moving rendition of the Bill Withers classic, "Lean on Me."
"Surreal, beautiful, peaceful scene outside the White House as a man sings 'Lean On Me' and thousands and thousands of protesters raise lighted cellphones and join their voices with his," Washington Post reporter Hannah Natanson shared on Twitter.
Surreal, beautiful, peaceful scene outside the White House as a man sings “Lean On Me” and thousands and thousands of protesters raise lighted cellphones and join their voices with his. pic.twitter.com/iAr0WWYc3u— Hannah Natanson (@hannah_natanson) June 4, 2020
Sway also led the crowd in singing and dancing to Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come" and Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror."
And they have began dancing!!! SPREAD THIS!!! These are peaceful protests in DC!! @KENNY_SWAY’s rendition of “Man in the Mirror” #washingtondcprotest #blacklivesmatter @PoPville @wusa9 @DMVBlackLives pic.twitter.com/nOaoO2QeN6— Valdez (@benyboi) June 4, 2020
Of course, D.C. wasn't the only place where protestors raised their voices in song or shared a joyful dance. Protestors in Augusta, Georgia, and San Antonio, Texas, also sang "Lean on Me" with their fellow marchers.
Shot this moment of brightness today. Augusta protestors sing “Lean On Me” pic.twitter.com/ijVFzVAMdH— Sarah Lusk (@sarah_lusk) June 2, 2020
Protestors sing "Lean on me" pic.twitter.com/JT2hz6DU7c— Agustin Garfias (@AgustinSpecNews) June 2, 2020
Demonstrators in Columbia, South Carolina, sang "Amazing Grace" in front of the state house, and marchers in D.C. and Memphis, Tennessee, were also led in the spiritual.
this is columbia’s protest earlier today. we sing, we fight, and our voices will be heard. protestors in columbia: stay safe. look out for each other. #JusticeForGeorgeFlyod #ColumbiaSC #blacklivesmatter pic.twitter.com/LhcZ3sLErm— maddy (@mvdelinepvige) May 30, 2020
In Dallas' Dealey Plaza, where President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed in 1963, a group gathered to sing "Lift Every Voice and Sing."
Every person in Dallas knows the weight you feel in Dealey Plaza.— Matt Howerton (@HowertonNews) June 3, 2020
JFK was shot here in 1963.
Minorities faced major adversities then, today protestors stopped to remind Dallas they still do.
It’s where hundreds took a moment and continued to sing ‘Lift Every Voice.’ pic.twitter.com/jRJ1OLZiNl
In downtown Louisville, a woman led a group of demonstrators in "We Are Not Afraid," and in Grand Rapids, Michigan, marchers broke out into song with "Why Can't We Be Friends?"
And a group of protestors in Boston got straight to the point, singing the ubiquitous losing sports team chant "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" in front of the state house.
Protestors sing with flashlights up in front of the state house in Boston pic.twitter.com/cIH5XaWWmX— Lizzie Heintz (@lizzieheintz) June 3, 2020
Several cities, like Minneapolis, Minnesota; Newark, New Jersey; Oakland, California, and more also saw protestors dancing along to the "Cupid Shuffle" and other tunes.
The scene tonight in South Minneapolis.— Shaquille Brewster (@shaqbrewster) June 3, 2020
I’d be lying if I said this didn’t warm my heart. pic.twitter.com/JBLeH6UsTu
Dance party at 14th and Broadway now, with the few hundred folks left from the fuck the curfew protest tonight in oakland pic.twitter.com/WW6fvadCvG— Harriet Blair Rowan (@HattieRowan) June 4, 2020
Following days of demonstrations across the country, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison increased the murder charge against former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin -- the man seen with his knee on Floyd's neck in the widely shared video -- to second-degree murder.
Ellison also brought charges of aiding and abetting murder against the three other former police officers, who were fired for their involvement in Floyd's death, according to court records obtained by CBS Minnesota.
See more on the ongoing protests in the video below.