Andra Day‘s no rookie when it comes to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, having performed her anthemic breakout hit “Rise Up” on a float in 2015, but this year is different. For the 91st Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, the powerhouse vocalist returns to the annual event to deliver another performance, this time on the Girl Scouts “Building A Better World” float to sing the Common-featuring record “Stand Up For Something” from the 2017 film Marshall.
Common will accompany his “Stand Up For Something” collaborator, Day, on the Girl Scouts float — his first time ever performing for the event and an opportunity the rapper knew was the perfect fit for him. “As a father, I know firsthand the impact that girls can have on changing the world,” he tells Billboard of how he became involved with the initiative. “When I found out that Girl Scouts launched the G.I.R.L. Agenda to inspire, prepare, and mobilize girls to make change through civic action, It was totally in alignment with what I believe we should be doing in this day and time.”
The inspirational anthem was penned by prolific songwriter Diane Warren and co-penned by Common.
For Day — who has performed at the International Day of the Girl, the White House and received Billboard‘s Powerhouse Award for Billboard’s annual Women In Music ceremony — teaming up with Girl Scouts was a way to encourage positive images and representation of women in media.
“I love women, I value women very highly and I think often times, the images of us portrayed counter to our true identity as leaders and as compassionate, loving, caring, people,” she said, “It’s important we have more and more images in the media for young girls and women of all ages to see us as a supportive community and that when we come together, we make a huge impact.”
Girl Scouts likely rings bells for its famous cookies but their G.I.R.L Agenda initiative — which stands for Go-getter, Innovator, Risk Taker and Leader — has a purpose rooted deeply in fostering positive change. The Girl Scout Macy’s Thanksgiving Day float will include two dozen badges that represent a range of areas from science, technology, engineering, math and more.
“The G.I.R.L. Agenda reflects our belief in the power of every girl to take action on issues she is passionate about in her community and her world,” said Sylvia Acevedo, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA. “It’s exciting to imagine all the possibilities for positive change that could arise from girls hearing the song and using our G.I.R.L. Agenda tools. The power of girls is infinite.”
The Girl Scout organization is just one group the “Stand Up For Something” anthem resonated with. Back in October, a Baltimore middle school went viral after its children’s choir performed an emotive rendition of Day’s 2015 anthem “Rise Up.” The Cardinal Shehan School choir eventually caught the attention of Day and Good Morning America, where they were invited to sing for the live audience.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) October 18, 2017
“I think the only word I can use to describe [the choir’s performance] is gratitude,” Day said, “because when you see something that you created and something that you’ve been gifted is able to transform or encourage or to heal people like that, it’s causing you to want to do more, it causes you to ask the question, ‘What else?’ What else, how else, who else can I help?”
She continued: “I’m excited because I get to see in the future the change that they’ll create in their communities and in their families lives and the people that they come in contact with. We have to work on the micro before we can work on the macro and make the world a better place.”
The annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade airs on NBC at 9 a.m. EST.