Magazine Feature

2016 Presidential Race: How Prince Royce, Melissa Etheridge & First-Time Voter Daya Are Making Their Decision



As the 2016 presidential campaign enters its final months, Billboard asked rocker Melissa Etheridge; bachata singer Prince Royce; Jeff Jampol, who manages the estates of Janis Joplin and The Ramones; and singer and first-time voter Daya, who turns 18 on Oct. 24, to identify the issues that inspire the choice they’ll make on Nov. 8.

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Melissa Etheridge, 55

“This election will go down as a huge turning point. This old patriarchal paradigm espoused by Donald Trump, this deep-seated belief of ‘us versus them’ that’s the basis of racism, homophobia and anti-feminism, [will be rejected] by a wave of Americans saying, ‘Enough. That is not America.’ I also don’t think it’s a coincidence that all of these issues, which are considered female-ish in nature — the environment, gay rights, female rights — are represented in a female figure now. And by electing Hillary Clinton as the leader of the free world, we as a nation will be saying, ‘This balance is important to us now.’ It’s going to be a landslide, and I think it’s going to really help our nation.”

Prince Royce, 27

”Voting for a leader that represents all Americans is always important, but this year even more so. Latinos in this country need to stand together when a presidential candidate denigrates us or any other minority group — that is not what America is about. So while in the past I have shied away from speaking out about politics, this year I feel it is important to say that we need to demonstrate with our votes that that kind of behavior is not OK.”

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Jeff Jampol, 57

“This election is probably the most ghoulishly fascinating civic action I’ve seen in my lifetime. The specter of a Trump presidency is real, and it’s scary. The biggest issues overall are in foreign policy, and how the United States relates to the rest of the world. How are we going to behave as a good neighbor to our fellow countries? If you look at what’s happening in the Middle East, in Europe and with Brexit, we have to be a part of those conversations and a part of the solutions.”

Daya, 17

”We need someone who will further unite us, not divide us; someone who is thoughtful, not reactive. My music reflects my belief that everyone is entitled to equal opportunities, so I struggle to make sense of Trump. I’m proud to say that as a first-time voter, I’m with her [Clinton]. More than anything, though, I would encourage everyone to exercise their right to vote, because each and every vote has the power to make a difference.”    

This article originally appeared in the Sept. 3 issue of Billboard.