Celebrities using their large platforms to support causes and political candidates they care about is nothing new. With the upcoming 2020 presidential election, musicians are certainly using their voices — especially as Democrats whittle down the previously massive pool of candidates to the few remaining hopefuls.
Even after Elizabeth Warren and Mike Bloomberg dropped out after disappointing results on Super Tuesday (March 3), musicians have continued to speak out in support of the remaining candidates.
Halsey is among them. Bernie Sanders tweeted a video of the singer-songwriter on March 10 in which Halsey endorses and explains why she’s endorsing the Vermont senator. In the video, she explains the various struggles she faced before she found fame.
“Now my financial privilege protects me from the marginalization that would have previously been fatal for me. So today, I fight for her too — that girl who wasn’t protected,” she says. “And Bernie was fighting for me before I was even born, because that’s his philosophy: Fight for somebody that you don’t know.”
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) March 10, 2020
Here are other musicians who have spoken out in support of Democratic presidential hopefuls:
The former vice president mounted a comeback after losing the earlier caucuses and primaries, but winning a decisive victory in South Carolina on Feb. 29, and then winning Super Tuesday. He currently leads with 652 delegates.
The iconic singer threw her support behind Obama’s VP in a series of tweets on Feb. 17 after polls showed that Biden was losing support. “What a Good,Wise,Kind Man You Are,ButI WONT Turn My Back On You Now That You’re Struggling.Many Times In My Life Ppl Said,’Shes,Untalented, Too Old For Movies,Music,The Stage.Dont Give Up Joe. ‘Your Head is Bloodied, But Unbowed,’” she wrote. She followed that up an hour later with another message: “This will Most Likely Be Unpopular,but Last Nite I Asked Myself,”Who, Would I Be,if I denied a Man I Know & Respect 4 a Shiny,New,Tech Savey BILLIONAIRE”.Joe’s Made Mistakes,like all of Us,but I Believe He Would Be Honest,Smart,’CIVIL’PRES.Who Doesn’t Have 2 Learn On The Job.”
The country singer hasn’t been shy about her distaste for President Donald Trump, calling him a “bully” and blasting the GOP on social media.
— Chely Wright (Vaxxed) (@chelywright) March 1, 2020
The senator is currently trailing the former VP with 575 delegates (1,991 are needed to win the nomination), and he’s also leaps and bounds ahead of his fellow candidates when it comes to rocking the vote with musicians.
The songstress declared in a November tweet that the Vermont senator was “MY GUY.”
MY GUY. thank you Senator Sanders for coming to my show, making my whole night and for all that you stand for ! @headcountorg and i are doing our best to make you proud. we’ve already registered 20k+ young voters at my shows alone. also i will never smile this hard again promise. pic.twitter.com/7UYqkXR0g1
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) November 20, 2019
The famed banjo player performed at the Feb. 28 and 29 Massachusetts rallies in support of Sanders.
The indie folk band once again supported Sanders by playing at one of his rallies, just as the group did in 2016. This year, they rocked the Iowa caucus concert. In explaining his support, frontman Justin Vernon said in a statement, “I believe, unequivocally, that all people deserve support, love, and the freedom to choose how to live their own lives. These are promises in our constitutional language that are being superseded by money and greed in this country; I believe that Senator Sanders is the only one that has the pedigree, the experience, the courage, and the undying spirit to begin to put these obstacles of freedom to rest.”
“We chose today to come out here and support Bernie because we believe he’s a good man and a true altruist and a person that’s started a revolution in this country that I can behind,” Carlile said at the 2020 Vermont Kickoff rally in May 2019. “I think that in his life, Bernie’s done a great thing, which is destigmatize the concept of fairness in this country that we all needed to start taking seriously a long time ago, but it took him, and for that reason, I love him and I’m here to support him.”
The “Bodak Yellow” rapper has long supported Sanders, even sitting down to interview him about minimum wage, climate change, student debt and more.
I been reading about Bernie Sanders and I’m really sad how we let him down in 2016 This man been fighting for equal rights,HUMAN rights for such along time.Seeing this country become a better place been really his passion for a long time not a new front for a campaign.
— iamcardib (@iamcardib) July 16, 2019
Chuck D of Public Enemy performed officially under the name Public Enemy Radio at Sunday’s LA campaign rally for Sanders. There, the rapper of the iconic hip-hop group urged attendees to “be woke” and “listen to somebody, be grown, make yourself important in your locale.”
While she’s a Brit and therefore can’t vote in the U.S., Dua Lipa pointed out in a Super Tuesday tweet “what happens in America doesn’t stay in America.”
What happens in America doesn’t stay in America. The whole world is crying out for kinder and more inclusive leadership.
If you are in a Super Tuesday state, please vote for the president you all deserve.@BernieSanders #SuperTuesday#VoteForBernie pic.twitter.com/qx5FrgXIS8
— DUA LIPA (@DUALIPA) March 3, 2020
The White Stripes lead singer doesn’t often get political, but he chose to for Sanders when he played at a rally in his hometown of Detroit on Oct. 27. “When issues come up, I try to listen,” he told attendees. “Bernie Sanders is telling the truth, and I really do trust him.”
The “I’m Yours” crooner shared a lengthy message on his website in support of Sanders in October. “Trump won because much of America was tired of this ‘business as usual.’ And so am I,” he wrote. “That’s why, after much deliberation, I’m proudly endorsing Bernie Sanders for President. To me, he’s the only candidate who can continue to drain the swamp.”
The frontman of Neutral Milk Hotel shared his support for the senator via his wife, Astra Taylor.
My husband Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel just sent out a message in support of Bernie Sanders and I endorse his endorsement. pic.twitter.com/h27VrmBmwf
— Astra Taylor (@astradisastra) March 2, 2020
The Run the Jewels rapper is a longtime political activist and supporter of the Vermont senator, and it hasn’t changed for the upcoming election. “So much of Sanders’ policy is popping up in other candidates’ agendas, and that excites me,” he told Billboard in the Jan. 12 issue. “We’re closer to Medicare for All than we know, closer to national decriminalization of marijuana, closer to making leaping progress in this country … if we communicate on both sides of the aisle in our living room.”
Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon released a quirky ad in support of Sanders on March 2, one day before the all-important Super Tuesday. In the video titled “What’s Cooking America?” the musician bakes a cake — complete with goofy sound effects — with the ingredients for the Vermont senator’s recipe for a win, including Medicare for All, canceling student debt, women’s rights and more.
“Right now, I’m rooting for Bernie Sanders, not just because he was you know with the civil rights movement, but just because of everything he stands for,” the rapper told CNN in 2016. And he still is years later.
Let’s gooooooo https://t.co/2NPGQGck2k
— concrete boy boat (@lilyachty) February 20, 2019
The singer and actress participated in a star-studded video explaining one of her reasons for supporting for Sanders: “He has been a badass in supporting the LGBT community.”
— Miley Ray Cyrus (@MileyCyrus) April 11, 2016
Mike Gordon and Jon Fishman of Phish
The members of Phish, who also supported Sanders in 2016, are set to play at the senator’s Super Tuesday rally with The Mallet Brothers Band in his home state of Vermont.
The legendary musician, who recently obtained his citizenship, penned his support for Vermont’s Senator Bernie Sanders in a lengthy post on his website on March 7. “I support Bernie because I listen to what he says. Every point he makes is what I believe in. Every one,” Young wrote. “I believe Bernie is the Real Deal.”
He also added that he’s hoping Sanders will tap Georgia’s Stacey Abrams to be his vice president. Abrams, who served in the state’s House of Representatives, made headlines when she ran to be Georgia’s governor in 2018, and narrowly lost to Brian Kemp.
The Strokes rocked out for Bernie at a Get Out the Vote rally on Jan. 28 in New Hampshire ahead of the state’s primary, which the senator won.
The rapper made a visit to The View in October 2019, where he told panelist Joy Behar that he’s “bipartisan,” but noted he was “anybody but Trump 2020.” When pressed about who he sees as having enough support to defeat the president in the next election, the rapper said it was Bernie, whom he also supported in 2016.
The band played an acoustic set in support of Sanders on Jan. 31 at an Iowa caucus concert. Frontman Ezra Koenig also frequently retweets the presidential hopeful.
Warren dropped out of the race on March 5. She had garnered 57 delegates after a disappointing showing on Super Tuesday, failing to win any states.
The Tenacious D co-founder and actor is “all in” for the Massachusetts senator. “I think Elizabeth Warren would be a great president. She’s the smartest candidate in the race,” he told The Hollywood Reporter in February. “She speaks with the most clarity regarding the big structural change needed to make government work for everyone. I endorse her campaign and hope to be celebrating her victory in November!”
The Grammy winner is singing his support loud and proud. “She’s the best candidate running today and she comes at it with joy and with sincerity and with a wealth of knowledge and experience,” the musician said in his December Vanity Fair cover story. “You see someone as transparently competent and eloquent and on fire as Elizabeth Warren and then you hear some guys just are not into voting for a woman. Why do guys feel so threatened by the idea of a woman president?”
We look forward to the Warren Presidency!
— John Legend (@johnlegend) October 29, 2019
The celebrated singer-songwriter announced in October 2019 that she’s Team Warren. “Elizabeth Warren understands the LGBTQ community and the needs we have,” she tweeted at the time. “Let’s move forward with the woman that has a plan for our future.”
The former mayor of New York didn’t get much love at the polls and dropped out March 4. He trailed in delegates (37) despite spending hundreds of millions of his own money on his presidential campaign, and didn’t have much luck drumming up public support from musical acts either.
On Feb. 5, Bloomberg rolled out a campaign ad featuring the singer-songwriter’s tune “Small Town.” Said the musician in a press statement: “The stakes are too high to not nominate the candidate who will take the fight directly to Trump. From small towns to big cities, Mike Bloomberg has the experience to represent all Americans. He’s a job creator, philanthropist, and true public servant, and I am confident that as president, he will restore America to a place we can be proud of once again.”
Getting even less love than Bloomberg is the representative from Hawaii. Gabbard, who has not met the threshold to participate in the last few debates, is dead last with only two delegates, but has yet to drop out of the race.
The Jane’s Addiction and former Red Hot Chili Peppers rocker understands Gabbard may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but he’s OK with that. The musician promoted and hosted an online town hall with the congresswoman on Feb. 13. “I believe in Tulsi but by no means would I ever try to sway anyone,” Navarro, who is a registered libertarian, said in an Instagram post promoting the event. “If you are backing someone else, I support your choice and applaud the simple fact that you are invested. NO agenda, this is just my view, my profile and my choice.”
Prior to supporting Gabbard, the rock star was Team Marianne Williamson. He promoted several of the author’s campaign events via his Instagram, and also participated at her August event in NYC. She ended her campaign in January.