Alex James says coronavirus is killing live music.

The Blur bassist has slammed the UK government for prioritising the reopening of shops and cinemas over venues, when the live music sector contributes a considerable amount each year to the country's economy.

Writing for The Sun newspaper, he said: ''Live music is vital, not just for fuelling our dreams but for the reality of our economy, too.

''The live music sector is expecting to suffer £900 million in losses this year, which is 81 per cent of its annual contribution to the UK economy.

''From arena concerts to your local pub singer, all live music has been silenced.

''But the government doesn't seem to be taking it seriously, with music way down the list of priorities and no date in the diary for when we will be able to go to a gig again.''

The 'Song 2' musician insisted the government are foolish to have left the industry at a standstill.

He added: ''We can't afford to take our music scene for granted.

''Since the birth of rock 'n' roll, Britain has dominated global tastes in pop music.

''Part of The Beatles' legacy is that they transformed the British record business from a cottage industry into a global phenomenon.''

Alex is not the only music star calling on officials to help save the sector.

In the US, Billie Eilish, Lady Gaga and Dave Grohl are among a group of 600 artists who have signed a letter to Congress asking them to save small venues.

The National Independent Venue Association was formed in April and hundreds of artists recently gave their signatures to the letter demanding federal financial support, as it was reported that more than 1,000 independent venues across the US are on the brink of permanent closure if they do not receive the vital funding amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Other major stars to give the their backing to the 'Save Our Stages' campaign include Led Zeppelin legend Robert Plant, Willie Nelson and Coldplay.