In November 2019, Ariana Grande posted a photo with Bernie Sanders, exclaiming “MY GUY,” while telling her fans that she promised to “never smile this hard again.” Just like that, the most important part of the 2020 Democratic race had officially begun: the musicians’ primary. Some stars have performed at rallies, supporting their candidates of choice with a Bob Dylan cover (or two), while others have used social media to make their endorsements known. Here are the most notable musical endorsements for each major candidate.
The rapper interviewed Sanders in Detroit last year, raising issues including racism, the minimum wage, and immigration. “Don’t you ever feel scared that these people that run drug companies and schools — you know it’s all a business — are you scared that you will get so many powerful people upset?” The candidate laughed and replied, “Cardi, that’s what I’ve been doing my whole life.”
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Julian Casablancas previously felt the Bern in the 2016 primary, and now the Strokes frontman has voiced his continuing support for 2020. The band will join Sanders in Durham, New Hampshire, on February 10th, to perform at a rally on the eve of the state’s primary. “We are honored to be associated with such a dedicated, diligent and trustworthy patriot — and fellow native New Yorker,” Casablancas said. “As the only truly non-corporate candidate, Bernie Sanders represents our only chance to overthrow corporate power and help return America to democracy. This is why we support him.”
Last fall, White returned to his high school in Detroit to perform at a Sanders rally. Onstage at Cass Technical High School, the rocker tore through White Stripes classics like “Black Math” and “Seven Nation Army,” as well as Bob Dylan’s “License to Kill” from 1983’s Infidels. “Bernie Sanders is telling the truth, and I really do trust him,” White told the crowd.
Late last year, the pop star evidently endorsed the candidate by posting photos with him on Twitter: “Thank you Senator Sanders for coming to my show, making my whole night and for all that you stand for!”
The band recently performed at a Sanders rally in Iowa. Their cover of Thin Lizzy’s “The Boys Are Back in Town” was appropriate, given that they performed there in support of the candidate in 2016. “I still believe that Bernie can win and it’s brutal seeing how much energy goes into convincing voters that one of the most popular politicians in the country (and the one who polls best against Trump) is unelectable,” frontman Ezra Koenig wrote on his Instagram. “Bernie’s still the landslide favorite among people 35 and under (across racial and gender lines) so talk to your older, skeptical friends and family about why Bernie can actually win.”
Frontman Justin Vernon supported Vampire Weekend at the Cedar Rapids rally, covering the title track to Dylan’s 1964 album The Times They Are a-Changin’ as well as “With God on Our Side.”
Zola Jesus — real name Nika Danilova — might be Amy Klobuchar’s cousin, but she’s made it clear she’s voting for Sanders. “I’m not fucking around with my Bernie support,” she tweeted. “He’s running against my cousin. I’m going against bloodlines for this shit!” “He’s seeing how the world can be better and he’s seeing what needs to be done,” she added in an interview with RS. “Bernie means well and means what he says.”
The Atlanta rapper and activist met the Vermont senator over soul food in 2015; he’d go on to campaign for the candidate a year later. He’s supporting Sanders for a second time, having recently sat down with him to discuss issues that include health care and wealth inequality.
The Los Angeles singer-songwriter, real name Natalie Mering, posted a photo with the candidate last month on her Instagram.
Carlile performed at Sanders’ kickoff rally in Vermont last year, even dedicating her song “The Joke” to the candidate.
The singer and ex-Sonic Youth bassist has been using her Instagram to throw her support behind Sanders, including posting a photo of herself with the senator, her daughter Coco, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. “Yo! California! The primary is March 3rd and vote-by-mail ballots drop Monday!!” she wrote in another post. “Bernie supporters need to get out & knock doors, this primary is critical!”
The rapper praised Sanders while on The View last year. “Right now, the only person I see who has a base that’s strong enough to oppose [Trump] is Bernie,” he said. “Biden’s got bigger numbers but Bernie’s base is more passionate. He’s the complete antithesis of what Trump represents.”
Lil Yachty, real name Miles McCollum, previously voiced his support for Sanders in 2016. When the candidate announced his campaign for the 2020 election, the Atlanta rapper quoted the tweet and said “Let’s gooooooo.”
Frontwoman Greta Kline contributed the song “Moon Beam” (under the moniker Lexie) to a compilation titled Bernie Speaks with the Community. Assembled by Portland, Oregon, band Stranger Ranger, the album also features indie rockers Jay Som and Mannequin Pussy’s Marisa Dabice.
After Sanders played the Philly punks’ protest anthem “Expect the Bayonet” at a rally in Queens last fall, the band responded with support for the candidate: “We believe that he is the best hope in generations for the left,” they said in a statement to Pitchfork, “and the only viable candidate to beat Trump in 2020.”
In an interview with Vanity Fair last fall, Legend chose Warren as his favorite candidate. “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 singer said. “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?”
It’s no surprise that Croz has been extremely open about who he’s supporting in the primary. He’s tweeted about the candidate several times, and went into further detail while promoting his Cameron Crowe-produced documentary David Crosby: Remember My Name. “He’s the smartest man I’ve ever seen in politics ever,” he said. “He’s brilliant, and he’s honest, and he’s dedicated, and he’s brave. Do you know how much guts it takes to go in the military when you’re gay? Volunteer and go because you think you ought to, you don’t want to be a privileged guy and get excused? Do you know what kind of morals it takes to do that?”
The singer and actress recently voiced her support for the former mayor. “I don’t usually get involved in politics,” she tweeted, momentarily disappointing Chasing Liberty fans across America. “But Pete Buttigieg is just so inspiring, and he’s the person America needs as president right now.”
Gambino, a.k.a. Donald Glover, became Yang’s “creative consultant” back in December, helping launch a pop-up store in Los Angeles ahead of the Democratic debate that week at Loyola Marymount University.
“In small town America, dreams hold fast,” the heartland rocker said in a promotional video for the former New York City mayor. “But good jobs seem like a thing of the past, and more and more of our kids have to leave in search of opportunity, making small towns…smaller.”
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