Keke Palmer, Taylor Swift and 9 More Artists Whose Music Got Political for the 2020 Election (Video)
“Get off the couch, off your ass, of the fence, and off your phone, and actually vote,” Palmer sings
Margeaux Sippell | October 30, 2020 @ 1:52 PM
Last Updated: November 2, 2020 @ 5:37 PM
The 2020 election has prompted a lot of artists to make political statements. A prime example is Keke Palmer, who released a music video for a new song called "Actually Vote" on Oct. 29. "We can win by a landslide, we got power in numbers," she sings. "Get off the couch, off your ass, of the fence, and off your phone, and actually vote."
Stevie Nicks put out "Show Them the Way" on Oct. 9 featuring Dave Grohl on drums and a music video directed by Cameron Crowe. Nicks has said the song was inspired by a dream she had the night before the 2008 election in which she was visited by Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy, John Lewis, and Bobby Kennedy.
Bon Jovi performed three songs on Oct. 24 at an event in support of Joe Biden -- “Who Says You Can’t Go Home?,” “Livin’ on a Prayer” and “Do What You Can," the latter of which he wrote using crowdsourced lyrics from fans about the coronavirus pandemic.
Diane Warren wrote a song for the Biden campaign that JoJo released on Oct. 1. Called "The Change," the song is about enacting change in the world by first making a change within yourself. "I'm gonna be the change, I'm gonna start with my heart," the lyrics say. "Ain't no world that I'm changing, until I change mine."
Graham Nash of "Crosby Stills & Nash" fame put out the music video for his new song "Vote" on Oct. 21. "The time to act is getting shorter by the hour," the lyrics say. "You can help/ Make it matter to you."
Taylor Swift licensed her music to a political campaign for the very first time in a new ad for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Urging young voters to use their voices to effect change, the ad uses Swift's song "Only the Young."
Neil Young put out his song "Looking for a Leader 2020" back in August. "Leaders walk among us and I hope they hear our call/ Maybe it's a woman or a black man after all," he sings. "Looking for a leader to bring our country home/ reunite the red white and blue before it turns to stone."
Johnny Cash's daughter Rosanne Cash put out a song called "Crawl Into the Promised Land" on Oct. 20. Featuring Sarah Jarosz and Jakob Leventhal and co-written by John Leventhal, Cash says the song is about "this particular vortex we find ourselves in, and the faith that we can crawl out of it with dreams intact."
Christian, conservative sister-duo Camille & Haley put out a viral song called "Keep American Great" in June advocating for their chosen candidate, Donald Trump.
Back in February, The Strokes were performing their song "New York City Cops" at a New Hampshire Bernie Sanders rally when their set, ironically, got stopped by none other than the police.
Demi Lovato put out “Commander in Chief” as a powerful message to Donald Trump earlier in October. “Commander in Chief, honestly, if I did the things you do, I couldn't sleep,” she sings. “How does it feel to still be able to breathe?”
Eminem stepped outside of his usual comfort zone and licensed the use of his Oscar-winning song "Lose Yourself" – an act he rarely does -- to the Joe Biden campaign for a campaign ad. The song was edited to fit into the 45-second "One Opportunity" ad. And the "seize the moment" lyrics fit Biden's message perfectly.
Leslie Odom Jr. released his rendition of "Wait for It" from "Hamilton" just hours before Election Day to drive home the importance of patience while waiting for the results. "It may take time, but your vote is worth waiting for. And I’m willing to wait for it," he says.