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The Trinity Voice

The student news site of Trinity Preparatory School

The Trinity Voice

The student news site of Trinity Preparatory School

The Trinity Voice

Singers Shape Society

Musicians’ political and social lives impact their fans
Singers+Shape+Society
Maxi de la Fuente

   During the election in 2020, Taylor Swift posted a picture of herself holding a plate of cookies endorsing the democratic candidate Joe Biden. This was one of the very few times that Swift expressed her political opinions, previously fearing that she would isolate her audience. However, when it came to issues she was passionate about, like LGBTQ+ and women’s rights, Swift was not afraid to speak out to her millions of fans. Conversely, famous rapper Ye, formerly Kanye West, has always been outspoken about his political and social stances. From endorsing Hilary Clinton in 2015 to backing Donald Trump in 2020 while also running for president himself, Ye uses his platform to preach constant racist, antisemitic, and misogynist ideas.

   Celebrities that are as famous as Taylor Swift or Ye are constantly under the microscope, especially with the amount of social media interactions they have with fans daily. Some fans may opt to refrain from supporting a certain artist because of their political involvement or controversial views shared on social media. 

   “I generally can accept a piece of art as what it is without being too concerned about someone’s private life or their choices that I might or might not agree with,” English teacher Steven Garnett said. “Unless the music that they’re doing is actually conveying that thing I’m fundamentally opposed.”

   Similarly, sophomore Reha Nagda expressed that fans should not feel inclined to stop listening to an artist’s music because of the controversies or scandals that the singer has gotten into in the past. Popular artist Morgan Wallen has a past of racist remarks that have now been forsaken after an apology in 2022. Instances like scandals and political endorsements can lead celebrities to change for the better or for the worse. 

   “I know when Taylor Swift came out with her support for the Democratic Party, she lost a lot of support from fans in the other parties,” Nagda said, “I think if they’re a bigger named artist, who’s been in the spotlight for a long time, even like Morgan Wallen, a scandal or endorsing their views that could hurt their career.”

   Wallen was almost canceled online due to his past use of a racial slur, however, many defended him, saying the media is too hard on singers. There is debate about whether singers need to take accountability for wrongs they have done when they weren’t famous. 

   “I also leave space for people to make mistakes,” Assistant head of upper school, Sebastiaan Blickman said, “And I would hope that if that’s a mistake, [Morgan Wallen] learned from it…”

   Despite the controversies of artists sharing their political opinions, there are positives, largely through community outreach. Specifically, rap artist Jay-Z started the Shawn Carter Foundation which is dedicated to community outreach for at-risk youth. Also, Eminem frequently donates to his hometown of Detroit and supports healthcare workers in various ways during COVID-19. Community outreach does come with media controversy like Taylor Swift raising funds and starting a petition to pass the Equality Act in 2019. Blickman expressed his concerns about singers’ political involvement. 

   “I find that for musicians or artists, all it does is it creates more division when their purest intentions are to unite people around what they see as a problem, not recognizing the complexity of this situation,” Blickman said.

   Uniting people is a concept that singers always struggle to get right. Listeners need to be aware of what they are listening to and recognize that even though someone is famous, that doesn’t mean they have all the facts. 

   “I think one needs to be in the center and taking a good look around before making any decision,” Garnett said, “So if a 16-year-old simply is doing something because so and so said do it, That just seems for anybody very short-sighted, not very intelligent.”

   On National Voter Registration Day, Sep 17, 2023, Taylor Swift called upon her millions of fans to register to vote for this year’s elections. Her post drove a record number of fans to Vote.org, averaging “13,000 users every 30 minutes” according to Nick Morrow, Vote.org’s communications director. California Governor Gavin Newsom reported to TMZ the political impact of celebrities on their audiences and singled out Swift for having a profound influence on her millions of fans. 

   “What she was able to accomplish in getting young people activated to consider that they have a voice and they should have a voice in the next election, I think it’s profoundly powerful,” Newsom said.

 

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About the Contributors
Mila Taylor, Staff Writer
Mila Taylor is a sophomore entering her first year on staff. She is currently a staff writer for the focus department. In her free time, she loves to play with her dog Josie, procrastinate on her homework and play the bass drum on the Trinity Prep drumline. Contact at [email protected].
Maxi de la Fuente, Graphic Designer
Maxi de la Fuente is a sophomore entering her first year on staff. She is currently on the graphics team. Maxi is a cheerleader for Trinity and has been on the team since her freshman year. In her free time, she enjoys going to the mall, tanning on the beach, playing mermaids in the pool, and suffering from a Coca-Cola and empanada addiction. Contact her at [email protected].

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