Pop star Ariana Grande is the latest, and probably the most significant, music celebrity to endorse the presidential campaign of US Senator Bernie Sanders. Sanders, who nearly beat Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Primary election in 2016 and is one of the favorites to win the nomination in 2020, attended Grande’s recent concert in Atlanta.
The 78-year-old politician and 26-year-old pop star posed for photos together backstage. Grande uploaded a few of them to her Twitter account, writing:
“MY GUY. thank you Senator Sanders for coming to my show, making my whole night and for all that you stand for ! @headcountorg and i are doing our best to make you proud. we’ve already registered 20k+ young voters at my shows alone. also i will never smile this hard again promise.”
HeadCount is an organization that works with musicians to promote voter registration.
Sanders also posted the images on Twitter and praised Grande for using her popularity to draw attention to important political and social issues.
“I want to thank @ArianaGrande for not only being a wonderful entertainer, but also for being such an outstanding advocate for social justice,” Sanders wrote. “We must all be prepared – like Ariana has shown – to fight for everyone who is struggling. It was great to meet her in Atlanta last night.”
Sanders has managed to connect with an array of musicians and performers in recent months. In July, rapper Cardi B appeared in a video with Sanders to discuss political issues including minimum wage, unemployment and climate change. Carbi B had previously tweeted: “I been reading about Bernie Sanders and I’m really sad how we let him down in 2016.”
Speaking to CNN, Sanders said he admires Cardi B’s political commitment:
“What it means is, what Cardi B does, not only is she an enormously popular entertainer, what she is doing is speaking to young people about the important issues that are on their minds and I applaud that very much.”
Another notable endorsement came from White Stripes co-founder Jack White, who played a short set at a Sanders campaign event.
“Listen, I’ve never done a political rally before,” White told the crowd. “I’m not really politically affiliated too much. I don’t consider myself a member of any party or anything I just listen to the issues. I want to listen to someone and understand that they’re telling me the truth if I trust them. Bernie Sanders is telling the truth, and I really do trust him.”
The endorsement from Grande is a vivid reflection of the inroads the elderly Sanders has managed to make with young voters across the United States.