Voting in Music Culture

Article by Cee Janai

Given the type of year that 2020 has been so far, it is no surprise how people are realizing the importance of being involved in your community, especially when it comes to government matters. I’m not sure if it is just me, but I can definitely see a rise in artists using their platforms to speak up. The latest and greatest thing that happened was Lizzo’s acceptance speech during the 2020 Billboard Music Awards.

“When people try to suppress something, it’s normally because that thing holds power. They are afraid of your power,” said Lizzo, standing tall and beautiful in a black one-sleeve minidress that definitely got her message across. On the dress, the word “vote” is pasted at least ten times in white block letters.

Also during the Billboard Music Awards, which this past Wednesday, October 14th, was held in an audience-lacked building, other artists also included voting, whether it was during an acceptance speech like Lizzo and Billie Eilish, or whether it was during their performances such as En Vogue, who’s band wore masks with the word “Vote” in sparkly letters.

With election day coming up in just two weeks, more and more artists are speaking out and using their platforms to appeal to their generation. One of my favorite artists, Rico Nasty, recently did a video with childhood mascot sensation Hip Hop Harry. It is shot in an old school PSA way that makes the millennial generation a bit nostalgic, and they are staging a Q&A about the voter registration organization HeadCount.

Even Ariana Grande took to Instagram to tease the upcoming release of her new album, but she also said to “act like we don’t get to hear it unless we vote.” This in turn caused her fans to turn into an excited-to-vote frenzy, and the post garnered almost 4 million likes.

The vocal powerhouse Lady Gaga also took to Instagram with a post that shows her sitting in what looks like to be a corner of her home, at a white piano. She introduces herself by her government name, which is Stefani Germanotta, and continues to teach us her voting sing-along. In the sing-along she comically gives us information to Turbo Vote, which is an online tool voters can use that will give them all the information they need to know, including election reminders, and voter registration.

Everyone’s favorite uncle, Snoop Dogg, has decided to vote for the first time EVER for this election. The Democratic National Committee and Snoop partnered together to come up with “Drop It In The Box!”, which is essentially Snoop’s song “Drop It Like It’s Hot” but make it voter-friendly.

The list goes on and on including celebrities from all walks of the entertainment industry, including film and television. The initiative has become crucial to where record labels are rolling out entire campaigns that are partnering with voter registration and voter information sites, such as the Atlantic Records and HeadCount partnership with Rico Nasty and Hip Hop Harry.

On October 13th, 2020, Sony Music Group released a campaign video that included tons of artists such as Camilla Cabello, P!nk, Celine Dion, Chloe x Halle, among many more. They are also giving their U.S. employees an incentive of a paid day off for election day.

It’s safe to say that this upcoming election is the most important election of our generation, and the music industry has realized that. Election day is Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020, and there are plenty of sources to everyone’s disposal on whatever information they may need. Be informed and make sure your voice is heard.

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