Bruce Springsteen and Beyonce lead stars in late Hillary Clinton push
NEW YORK, USA – Top musicians from Beyonce to Bruce Springsteen are rallying behind Hillary Clinton in the countdown to Tuesday's election, adding A-list star power to a massive get-out-the-vote operation.
While US pop stars have long leaned to the left, the tilt toward Clinton is unprecedented in a modern election, with Republican rival Donald Trump virtually shunned by the music world.
Springsteen, one of the biggest concert attractions in the rock universe, will perform at a Clinton rally Monday evening, November 7 in the must-win state of Pennsylvania.
Jon Bon Jovi, a longtime campaigner for Democratic candidates, will also join the rally in Philadelphia alongside President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle.
Lady Gaga, in one of her first shows since releasing her latest album Joanne, will then join Clinton and Bon Jovi at a midnight stop in North Carolina.
Such celebrity entertainers invariably ensure large crowds at a point in the campaign where weak turnout would be optically disastrous.
But even more importantly, big-name performances allow campaigns to collect contact details for sympathetic voters – crucial in the polarized country where elections increasingly are won by mobilizing turnout rather than persuading the undecided.
When rap mogul Jay Z announced a November 4 concert for Clinton in Ohio, her campaign had 10 days to ask fans to sign up for tickets through the candidate's website.
Jay Z came out in Cleveland with his wife, pop superstar Beyonce, as well as three other major names in hip-hop – J. Cole, Chance the Rapper and Big Sean.
Jay Z – who with Beyonce had strongly supported Obama, the first African American president – alluded to Clinton's historic role as potentially the first woman to lead the United States.
"Our soul is colorless and I want to grow up in a world where my daughter has no limitations," Jay Z said.
Without referring to Trump by name, Jay Z said the real estate tycoon was "not an evolved soul" and had weakened the United States through divisive remarks.
Trump denounces 'filthy' rap lyrics
Trump, in his final days of campaigning, has repeatedly lashed out at Beyonce and Jay Z, claiming at a rally Monday in North Carolina: "I get bigger crowds than they do" – a remark that Politifact has already called out as a falsehood.
Trump also took aim at the language by Jay Z, who like many rappers frequently uses profanity and did not edit his lyrics for the Clinton rally.
"Isn't it amazing that ... Jay Z and Beyonce use filthy language in the songs, using words that if I ever said those words, it would be the reinstitution of the electric chair, right?" Trump said.
Despite Trump's concern about profanity, one of his few musical backers, hard rocker Ted Nugent, also used unprintable words when he introduced the Republican at a rally Sunday in Michigan.
Nugent, who has previously called for the death of Clinton and Obama, grabbed his crotch on stage and quipped, "I've got your blue state right here, black and blue," referring to the color associated with the Democratic Party.
Trump, who has described undocumented Mexican immigrants as "rapists" and boasted of forcing himself on women, has faced complaints from a long list of stars including the Rolling Stones and Adele for playing their songs at rallies.
Trump, a former reality television host, has several backers in Hollywood, notably Clint Eastwood.
Other stars who back Clinton include Katy Perry, who has lent her hit "Roar" for campaign advertisements and has spoken out on Twitter, where the pop diva has more followers than anyone else.
Glam pop singer Miley Cyrus has stumped door-to-door for Clinton among Virginia students, while indie rock favorites The National performed a free pro-Clinton concert in their native Cincinnati, Ohio.
In one novel approach that may reach millions, users of leading music streaming site Spotify opened the service to a non-partisan message from Obama urging them to vote.
And novelist Dave Eggers over the past month has led the "30 Days, 30 Songs" project in which artists release anti-Trump protest songs.
Contributors include electronica great Moby, who has said that Trump is "pretty close to being a psychopath." – Rappler.com