Miley Cyrus & Kamala Harris Talk About Activating Young Voters, Black Lives Matter & Campaign Playlists

Kamala Harris and Miley Cyrus
Drew Angerer/Getty Images; Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Kamala Harris and Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus and Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris had a chat on Thursday (Oct. 22) about the importance of voting, supporting Black Lives Matter and the key song on the Senator's campaign trail playlist that gets her pumped up.

Admitting she was "a little nervous," the singer, who just announced her new Plastic Hearts album, beamed in from her recording studio to read down Harris' long list of accomplishments before adding the Senator to the call.

"I'm nervous," she said, as a smiling Harris popped up to join the call, instantly putting Miley at ease as the singer jumped into a question about how Harris was staying hopeful during the grinding pandemic that has kept us cooped up for most of the year.

"I have felt great sadness when I think about... the 220,000 people who died over the last several months, in particular those who, because of the nature of COVID couldn't be with family over their last hour," Harris said.

Harris noted she's also felt moments of joy FaceTiming with the children in her life, as well as watching people in North Carolina and Florida waiting in long lines to vote early. "It's all of that, but mostly I'm just feeling... the emotion I'm feeling most that is born out of optimism is the emotion that comes with the motivation to fight," the Senator said.

And when it comes to racial justice, Harris was very clear. "Between Joe Biden and Donald Trump: Joe Biden says ‘Black lives matter’; Donald Trump refuses to say it,” she said. “Donald Trump stood on that debate stage in the last debate and refused to condone white supremacists and in fact said, ‘Stand back, stand by.'”

Harris said the Democratic ticket plans to reform the criminal justice system, including by decriminalizing marijuana, requiring a national registry of police officers who break the law and banning choke holds, noting that George Floyd would be alive today if that were the case.

Miley shared that she lost her grandmother during the pandemic, relating how she couldn't see her for six months due to corona precautions. "What hurt was that I was unable to be with her, that she was alone," Cyrus said. "And I love that you say that you feel joyful and that you feel hopeful," asking what Harris could say to young voters to motivate them to get out to the polls on Nov. 3.

Tying today's protests in the streets to the 1960s civil rights protests, Harris said the push to demand change is critical, praising those younger leaders for forcing politicians to embrace the science of climate change and pushing for environmental action now, as well as criminal justice reform and job creation around innovation and infrastructure.

"Respect is love, respect is power and I love that word you used about just having respect for our young people and the change we want to create," Cyrus said, before asking how voting will help create that change on these crucial issues.

“The way that you use the power of your voice during elections is… people will respond to and see who’s voting and then respond to their issues and that’s just the way it works,” Harris said, citing the Democratic ticket's push to make college more affordable and attainable. "Joe wants young leaders to be at the table."

Miley said music has been a huge help for her in getting through this rough year when she's feeling down, so she asked Harris what songs were on her campaign playlist, warning her that "Party in the U.S.A." better be on the list. Of course it is, but one of the Senator's favorites, she said, was her walk-on song, Mary J. Blige's "Work That."

“In fact, I was at this event recently in North Carolina, and it started pouring rain, pouring rain and everyone stayed outside because it was an outside event,” Harris said. “And you want to stay outside and then the song came on, and it was pouring energy. Like all these people turning out and then we all just started dancing in the rain. It was the best thing ever.”

Check out their chat here.

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