NEAR WEST SIDE — A Rihanna song is giving Chicago Public Schools students some aid after the Minnesota-based band Low decided to donate all iTunes sales from its cover of “Stay” to a Chicago nonprofit.
“It was kind of a really happy surprise for us," said Kyle Curry, associate director of Rock For Kids, a nonprofit that provides music education to underserved Chicago kids. “It was above and beyond anything we could have possibly imagined.”
Low — an alt-rock Minneapolis-based band — first performed the cover at the Pitchfork Music Festival in July. Low's version of the song was released on iTunes Sept. 12.
All iTunes sales of the song will benefit Chicago Public Schools students lacking music education. While musicians have made donations to the Rock For Kids in the past, Curry said this is the first time an artist has donated song sales to it.
The education advocacy group Raise Your Hand estimates that 47 Chicago public elementary schools lost music positions this year after budget cuts.
“It’s a sensitive subject,” Curry said of the state of CPS music education programs. “It’s common knowledge that budgets are tight across the board.”
Curry said he couldn’t specify which public schools would benefit from the Low cover song sales, but in the past, Rock for Kids has brought music programming to students in Englewood, North Lawndale and West Garfield Park.
The band will be in town Saturday for Goose Island’s second annual 312 Urban Block Party at 1800 W. Walton St. from 4-10 p.m.
Listen to Low's cover of "Stay" here.