Better Late Than Never: Artists Finally Weighing In on 2016 Presidential Election

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Katy Perry performs during a rally for Hillary Clinton ahead of the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in Des Moines, Iowa on Oct. 24, 2015. 

At this point in the past two presidential elections, the roster of A-list artists backing the candidates (okay, mostly President Obama) were like the line-up for the greatest concert never staged: Eminem, Jay Z, Pearl Jam, Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder, Faith Hill, Madonna, Mariah Carey, Beastie Boys, Beyoncé, the Roots, plus dozens of others in Obama's corner, and Pat Boone, Daddy Yankee, Charlie Daniels, Lee Greenwood, John Rich, Cowboy Troy, Kid Rock and Ted Nugent for Republican candidates John McCain (2008) and/or Mitt Romney (2012). 

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But until pretty recently, with a few big-name exceptions, the musical world was much quieter this cycle. Why? It's hard to say, as this election is historic in ways slightly different than 2008's election of the nation's first black president. Faced with the choice between two very unpopular candidates -- one with the potential to be the country's first female commander in chief and the other the first U.S. leader with no military or government experience -- Hollywood has kept it on the DL for the most part.


With less than 50 days to go, though, that began to change over the past few weeks, in large part due to a number of prominent female musicians who've re-iterated their loud and proud support for Clinton. From Barbra Streisand -- who has said #ImWithHer for over a year -- to Katy Perry and Madonna -- who both got naked this week to stand with Clinton and encourage voting -- the former Sec. of State is ringing up some big endorsements. Aside from Katy, Madge and Babs, other musical Hillary supporters include CherLady Gaga, P!nk, Cyndi Lauper, Miley Cyrus, Pharrell Williams, Kelly Clarkson, Meghan Trainor, Elton John and John Legend.

Clinton's even gotten a thumbs up from Mexican ranchera icon Vicente Fernández -- who can't vote in our election -- but who said, "together, we can," and Los Tigres del Norte, who condemned Trump's insults against Mexican immigrants while endorsing Clinton. Another major artist who won't be in the voting booth but finds it hard to keep his opinions to himself, U2's Bono, recently said he was concerned Trump could "destroy" the very idea of America.

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Sia got in on the action on Tuesday night (Sept. 27), using her song "The Greatest" as a goad to Trump about his snipe regarding Clinton's alleged lack of "stamina." 

Mary J. Blige sits down with Clinton in an upcoming edition of The 411 With Mary J. Blige (Sept. 30), in which the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul interviews the former First Lady about what her expectations are for a possible presidency and then sings a bit of Bruce Springsteen's hard-hitting "American Skin (41 Shots)." 

Kesha threw her hat in the ring on Wednesday (Sept. 28) when she came to the defense of former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, who continued to get fat-shamed by Trump after Clinton brought up her rival's misogynist comments about women in the past during the first presidential debate.


I want to give my support and respect to you, Alicia. You did not deserve to be shamed by this monster. Your body is NO ONE else's business. Donald Trump said that your body or weight was an issue (which makes me so sad and just sick). but, I find the real problem here being his bloated, arrogant ego and offensive, racist, misogynist verbal diarrhea. he is a bully. WORDS mean something, and can be extremely hurtful and dangerous. They stay deep inside you and can affect your emotional and mental health. I know this from personal experience. They are hard, and sometimes impossible, to ever forget. please don't let him get to you any longer, instead realize that you are a strong woman and a beautiful role model for standing up and telling the truth, even if it hurts to remember it. much love, and mad respect ❤️----❤️

A photo posted by Kesha (@iiswhoiis) on


Last month, Paul McCartney, Bon Jovi and Jimmy Buffett performed at a private fundraiser for Clinton, while Streisand has taken a number of opportunities this summer to announce @ImWithHer while making fun of Trump and penning a scathing essay for the Huffington Post entitled "Facts Matter." Typically outspoken American rock icon Bruce Springsteen has mostly kept his powder dry this cycle, but recently called Trump a "moron" in Rolling Stone and said he thinks Clinton would be a "very, very good president." 

And if you look at Cher's Twitter feed lately, she's pretty much given it over to a non-stop barrage of pro-Clinton and anti-Trump messages.



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Trump, on the other hand, has had a good deal less musical co-signs, the most prominent coming from Kid Rock, Wayne Newton, as well as usual suspects Rich, Nugent, Boone and Kenny Rogers. Kiss' loud and proud bassist/singer Gene Simmons was labeled the "Donald Trump of rock" recently by his son, Nick Simmons. 

Las Vegas icon Newton went on Fox News earlier this month and said that if America has "ever needed Donald Trump, it's now." Kid Rock, an avowed Republican, hasn't stumped for the billionaire real estate mogul (though he told Rolling Stone in February that he was "digging" the candidate), but when Clinton made a crack about Rock possibly getting a cabinet position in a Donald White House, the Detroit rapper joked, "I don't care what your politics are, funny is funny!"



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