Standing on the sidelines during an election is never an option. That’s why superstar musicians rarely hesitate when asked to step up to the mic to use their outsized influence to encourage all of us to speak out for the future that we want for our families, our communities and ourselves.
And who better to get us excited about voting?
After all, we tend to form strange, special relationships with our favorite performers. We invite them into our lives and ask them to provide the soundtrack. (Or is it the other way around?) Over the course of a few albums, something strikingly personal develops—through confessional, relatable lyrics you discover a kindred spirit or maybe a new best friend who understands the cathartic necessity of losing yourself and your worries to the pulse of the dance floor.
A very real connection is born, one that runs far deeper than with any other sort of celebrity. So it’s no wonder we trust them when they offer up a very simple message: Your vote is your voice.
Rock the Vote
has been working hard to draw attention to elections and turn out millions of voters. The campaign has always made great use of celebrity supporters—and pop stars in particular. When a cultural icon starts talking about the importance of voting, their millions of fans tend to pay attention.
From touring to ads and more, superstar singers have always played a pivotal role in the Rock the Vote campaign. Here are five of our favorites who have both lent their famous faces to the cause of inspiring millions to take action by voting and supported the green movement for a more sustainable future for all of us.
Rock the Vote launched itself into the public consciousness in a very big way in 1990 with a
featuring the Queen of Pop at the peak of her powers. Draped in an American flag, clad in lingerie and mouthing off in typical fashion, the pop star did what she does best: got plenty of attention.
In the years since, she’s used her fame to bring awareness to a variety of causes, from world hunger at Live 8 to environmental awareness as the headliner at Live Earth, the global concert event held in 2007 and founded in partnership with The Climate Reality Project Founder and Chairman
. Her Madgesty has even appeared on the cover of
Vanity Fair’s annual Green Issue
2. Pharrell Williams
Pharrell has a
of asking his fans to Rock the Vote, going so far as to
“the only way to change things.” He is also
no stranger to green initiatives
partnered with Climate Reality
24 Hours of Reality and Live Earth: The World Is Watching
to spread the word about
solutions ahead of the historic UN climate negotiations in Paris.
“I’m hopeful for our future and proud of our world leaders for taking first steps toward working together for a healthier, happier planet,”
he said on Facebook of the Paris agreement
3. Katy Perry
Perry’s interest in the well-being of our planet stems from her role as a
UNICEF goodwill ambassador
. The chart-topping pop princess has
traveled the globe
to speak with children and promote public health services in the developing world. This naturally extends to issues like
global temperature rise
and the related spread of vector-borne diseases, which inspired Perry to star in a characteristically tongue-in-cheek clip, produced by UNICEF and styled as a local news-like weather report, about the dangers of
for the world’s children.
Perry recently shot a Rock the Vote campaign commercial,
telling The Los Angeles Times
, “Younger people sometimes don’t feel like their vote matters. They think it’s all rigged, but it’s not true—you have to physically go out and vote.”
4. John Legend
Legend has been extremely vocal on Twitter with his feelings about environmental issues. And like Pharrell, Legend’s commitment to the cause also is far from new—
during The Climate Rally on the National Mall in Washington, DC all the way back in April 2010 in honor of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.
The “All of Me” singer and 10-time Grammy winner has been involved with Rock the Vote for years, as well and was the face of the organization’s
Democracy Day initiative
to educate young people about the 26th Amendment, which lowered the voting age in the U.S. from 21 to 18 in 1971.
5. Jason Mraz
Mraz went on tour with Rock the Vote in 2013 to get thousands of people registered ahead of the 2014 mid-term elections.
“Now that I have an opportunity to work with Rock the Vote, it’s just a must,” he said. “A lot of people don’t know that they have to register; they think ‘I’m always registered.’ … Every single vote counts.”
The “I Won’t Give Up” crooner also is a well-known environmentalist. Part of the vision of his
Jason Mraz Foundation
is to “achieve a society … where the environment is preserved for generations to come.” (
Sounds familiar to us!
) He’s also been very active in Climate Reality’s annual 24 Hours of Reality live global event over the years, discussing topics from
what he is doing
to be a better activist to why he is
optimistic about the future
of our planet.
Are our celebrity friends correct that voting is key to doing your part to assure a sustainable future? One thing is certain: expanding
and creating more green jobs are goals Americans agree on—and we need our leaders to support.
Every U.S. election is important, but this year we have the power to shape not only the future of America, but the future of our entire planet and its citizens. In fewer than five minutes, you can
register or pledge to #RockTheVote
and proudly raise your voice on Election Day.