LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Music is art, and art imitates life, and now the life of Breonna Taylor is living on through song.
In recent weeks, several Louisville artists from different genres of music used their gifts to pen lyrics or arrangements in honor of the former Louisville EMT killed by police.
One of those singers is Johnathan Johnson, who directs the new Freedom and Unity Community Choir of Louisville.
"I call it a 'protest choir,' only because it is our form of protesting," Johnson said. "So we are a choir for a cause. It's our way of standing up for what we believe in and using music to get the message across to say her name — bring power and awareness to her name."
The group went viral last week with a remixed version of gospel singer Kierra Sheard's hit, "Hang On" that included Taylor.
"I never got a chance to meet her, but the main thing we can do is just keep her legacy alive and fight for her justice," Johnson said.
Taylor was shot and killed in March during an raid by Louisville Metro Police at her home. Her death has attracted widespread protest as investigators work to determine if charges should be brought against the officers involved.
Three songs have been released in less than three weeks paying homage to Taylor, including the video for national gospel recording artist Jayson Clayborn's newest track "God Made it Beautiful."
"We had a whole other concept for this music video, and then all of this stuff started happening in our city and country, and I just felt like God's timing was perfect," Clayborn said. "This was going to be the next single the label was going to release to radio."
Younger voices are also saying Taylor's name in their own way. The Real Young Prodigy's group recently released their hip-hop track, "Justice for All." These are some of the lyrics written by 14-year-old Da'Vonn Pitney.
"We're fighting for our lives this time you ain't winning.
Keep the protest going this is only the beginning.
Justice for all, I'm tired of pretending
Cause we're slaves of the system so our pain is never ending"
Advisor NyRee Clayton-Taylor said the song and hip-hop video has been entered in a contest with its young author Pitney vying for a $20,000 scholarship. She'll find out if she wins later in July.
Clayton-Taylor said that for the performers, this is more than just a song.
"They've always just used music as a way to inform, and so when this incident happened with Breonna Taylor, they wanted to use their voice," she said.
The performers in Clayton-Taylor's Group range from 8 to 16 years old. A teacher by trade, Clayton-Taylor started it as an after school activity while on the faculty at Wheatley Elementary School in Louisville.
She was named 2019 elementary teacher of the year in the commonwealth.
"I always incorporated music and hip-hop in my classroom," Clayton-Taylor said. "But it's all their work, their words. The kids get all the credit."
Supporters believe saying Taylor's name is key to the fight for justice and that it keeps her memory, story and case alive.
"It's been mostly positive feedback for the song," Clayton-Taylor said. "Some people that have been not as positive do not believe kids should talk about Breonna Taylor."
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