Pop/R'n'B diva Beyonce Knowles was in Nashville on Saturday, July 13 as part of her "Mrs. Carter Show" world tour and had started her concert at the Bridgestone Arena about 30 minutes before when the slain teenager Trayvon Martin's shooter George Zimmerman was acquitted by a Florida jury. The 31-year-old artist asked for a moment of silence in honor of Martin after getting wind of the not guilty verdict.
"I'd like to have a moment of silence for Trayvon," Beyonce spoke to the crowd as the stage darkened with only a few lights left lit. She then sang the chorus of "I Will Always Love You", the late Whitney Houston's hit song as written by country music icon Dolly Parton, a fitting song choice given the location of the concert, before segueing to her own hit "Halo".
Bey was only one of many artists who have since reacted to Saturday's judgment by a six-woman jury over the February shooting death of the unarmed 17-year-old Martin by neighborhood watch volunteer Zimmerman. The social media networks were filled with messages of frustration, disbelief and sadness.
Questlove posted a close-up photo of himself on Instagram with the caption, "Onstage right now.... pissed," Nicki Minaj tweeted, "And our taxes paid for that trial. We just paid to see a murderer walk free after killing an innocent unarmed little boy," and Katy Perry wrote, "We should take a long look in the mirror, we need REAL change." Def Jam business magnate Russell Simmons, who expected many to be upset about the verdict, called for peace, saying, "No matter what, remain peaceful."