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U.S. Senator Rails Against Millions Of Dollars In Covid-19 Relief Money Given To Slipknot, The Smashing Pumpkins, Nickelback & More


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Amid the pandemic, numerous recording artists and organizations were entitled to apply for financial aid through an act dubbed the Small Business Administration’s Shuttered Venue Operators Grant as well as PPP loans. A wealth of artists and venues applied for the grant and benefits, the accounting for which has recently come under fire from U.S. senator Rand Paul.

According to a report Paul recently delivered on spending grievances by the U.S. government, Paul railed against what he sees as various wasteful spending measures enacted by the aforementioned government in recent years, the aforementioned grant included.

While those grants were intended to help support venues and artists and the like impacted by the COVID lockdowns, numerous touring artists also took advantage of it to stay afloat. Per a report published yesterday (December 22nd) by the New York Post, the likes of Slipknot, The Smashing Pumpkins and Nickelback all received millions of taxpayer dollars through that program.

Paul stated,  “so-called ‘small business owners,’ such as Post Malone, Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, and Smashing Pumpkins, received up to $10 million each. Even Nickelback received $2 million.”

Per the aforementioned report, Slipknot received $9.7 million via the grant (their ‘Knotfest‘ festival also received a $1,050,736 grant), while Korn received $5.3 million, Melissa Etheridge received $3.9 million, Usher received $3.1 million and Leann Rimes received $2 million. Numerous other recording artists were also awarded funds.

Paul‘s concerns over the grant stem from the accounting side of how that money was actually used, as he stated, “while some may claim these funds were used to keep supporting staff, artists were not required to do so, and we have no way of determining how these blank checks were used.”

The report in question can be viewed at senate.gov.

Update: December 23rd, 2023 05:16pm:

This article was edited to correct a grammatical error and add that Korn, as well as Slipknot‘s ‘Knotfest‘ festival, also received a grant. A direct link to Paul‘s report was also added to the story.

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