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Music History Events: Music and Politics

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October 8, 2018 Taylor Swift offers her political views for the first time, endorsing two Tennessee Democrats and urging her 112 million Instagram followers to vote. Vote.org reports a spike in voter registrations. Swift's pick for the Senate, Phil Bredesen, loses to incumbent Marsha Blackburn. Jim Cooper, whom Swift endorsed for the House of Representatives, retains his seat.

February 9, 2018 At the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, four popular Korean artists sing "Imagine" at the opening ceremony, where the theme is "Peace in Motion."More

January 16, 2018 Eminem is questioned by the Secret Service about lyrics in his song "Framed," where he imagines Ivanka Trump murdered in the trunk of his car. Agents determine he is not a threat; Eminem later raps about it on his song "The Ringer": "Agent Orange just sent the Secret Service to meet in person."

April 19, 2017 Kid Rock and Ted Nugent join Sarah Palin at the White House, where they get a personal tour from President Trump.More

March 15, 2017 President Donald Trump tweets about Snoop Dogg's "Lavender" video, where the rapper points a toy gun at "Ronald Klump," the ruler of a world run by clowns.More

November 19, 2016 At the Sacramento stop on his Saint Pablo Tour, Kanye West does three songs, delivers a 17-minute monologue, and leaves the stage.More

November 12, 2016 Kate McKinnon sings "Hallelujah" in character as Hillary Clinton to open Saturday Night Live.More

November 8, 2016 Despite strident support from a passel of stars, including Katy Perry, Barbra Streisand and Bruce Springsteen, Hillary Clinton loses the US presidential election to Donald Trump, whose supporters include Ted Nugent, Loretta Lynn and Wayne Newton. Miley Cyrus, who said she would move if Trump was elected, decides to stay in the country.

September 30, 2016 Mary J. Blige debuts her Apple Music talk show, The 411, and welcomes Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton as her first guest. Halfway through the intimate conversation, Blige bursts into a rendition of Bruce Springsteen's protest anthem "American Skin (41 Shots)" in a bid to address the rash of police brutality against African Americans. The attempt falls flat with viewers, who heckle the singer on social media.More

July 21, 2016 Ivanka Trump speaks in support of her father Donald at the Republican National Convention, taking the podium as "Here Comes The Sun" plays. The estate of George Harrison, who wrote the song, Tweets: "The unauthorized use of #HereComestheSun at the #RNCinCLE is offensive & against the wishes of the George Harrison estate. If it had been "Beware Of Darkness," then we MAY have approved it! #TrumpYourself"

July 15, 2016 As he's done since 1972, Alice Cooper announces he's running for president, this time with the campaign slogan "A Troubled Man for Troubled Times." His platform includes "Adding Lemmy to Mount Rushmore" and "Getting Brian Johnson back in AC/DC." He loses to Donald Trump, but gains more exposure for his song "Elected."More

April 8, 2016 Bruce Springsteen cancels an upcoming show in Greensboro, North Carolina, in protest of a state law limiting the rights of transgender people. "Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry - which is happening as I write - is one of them," he writes. Pearl Jam follows suit, bowing out of a show in Raleigh.

March 6, 2016 Diplo and his electronic dancehall project Major Lazer land a historic Havana gig, becoming the first US musical act to perform in Cuba in the new era of diplomatic relations between the island and the US, precipitating a visit from President Obama later in the month.More

August 14, 2015 The first presidential playlists are released. Barack Obama's selections include tracks by Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin and John Legend.More

June 26, 2015 President Barack Obama sings "Amazing Grace" at the funeral for Rev. Clementa Pinckney, who was killed along with eight others when a gunman opened fire during a Bible study at his church in Charleston, South Carolina.More

April 23, 2015 System Of A Down play the Armenian capitol of Yerevan in their first concert in that country. The band, which is of Armenian descent, is raising awareness of the Armenian genocide, which began 100 years earlier.

January 18, 2015 John Legend and Common perform "Glory" (from the movie Selma) at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, to celebrate Martin Luther King Day and honor the march King led from the bridge to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965.

November 6, 2012 US President Barack Obama wins the election to serve a second term. The news is greeted enthusiastically by Lady Gaga, Snoop Dogg, Cher, and many others. However, notoriously conservative Ted Nugent rains on the parade, posting scathing comments on Twitter. Nugent unleashes a volley of insults against Obama supporters, calling them "pimps," "whores," welfare brats," "subhuman varmints," and even more derogatory terms.More

November 5, 2012 With one day to go until the United States presidential election, dozens of music stars take to the press to support incumbent Barack Obama over Republican challenger Mitt Romney. Those voicing support for Obama include Jay-Z, Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead, Bruce Springsteen, Katy Perry, Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, and Stevie Wonder. This should come as no surprise, as music celebrities traditionally come out to support the progressive candidate in elections.

October 30, 2010 Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) makes a rare public appearance, performing "Peace Train" at the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear, which is organized and hosted by Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. Midway through the song, Colbert interrupts him and introduces Ozzy Osbourne, who starts performing "Crazy Train." Stevens and Osbourne go back and forth, resulting in a strange and hilarious train wreck.More

January 5, 2009 Beyoncé serenades Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, at the Neighborhood Ball as the couple shares their first dance together as president and first lady of the United States. The choice of song, Etta James' signature hit "At Last," throws the blues singer into a fit of rage aimed at Beyoncé.More

February 5, 2008 On the day of the Super Tuesday primary elections in America, luminaries from across many genres of music (country - not so much) voice their enthusiastic support for Barack Obama, who wins big in the primaries on his way to the White House.More

April 24, 2007 US President George W. Bush is denied a luxury suite at the Imperial Hotel in Vienna when Mick Jagger, in town with The Rolling Stones on a tour, books it first.

November 7, 2006 After getting fundraising help from his buddy Jackson Browne, Orleans lead singer John Hall is elected to the US House of Representatives in New York's 19th district.More

October 9, 2006 During a concert at Madison Square Garden, Barbra Streisand makes some disparaging remarks about President Bush. An audience member yells, "What is this, a fund raiser?" and Streisand stuns the crowd with her retort: "Why don't you shut the f--k up."

May 26, 2006 The right-leaning National Review reveals their list of the 50 greatest conservative rock songs. At the top is "Won't Get Fooled Again" by The Who, which is praised for its revolutionary spirit. Next on the list is "Taxman" by The Beatles and "Sympathy For The Devil" by The Rolling Stones.

October 11, 2004 The Vote for Change tour wraps up in Washington, DC. with a concert featuring Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, R.E.M., The Dave Matthews Band, Dixie Chicks and James Taylor. The goal of the tour is to get president George W. Bush voted out of office in the November elections. Bush wins by a narrow margin.

September 21, 2004 Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens), is denied entry into the United States when he shows up on a terrorist watch list, accused of funding terror groups.More

May 2, 2003 Dixie Chicks appear naked on the front cover of Entertainment Weekly, with slogans such "Traitors," "Hero," "Boycott," "Saddam's Angels" and "Proud Americans" printed across their bodies. The slogans represent the mixed reaction Dixie Chicks received following singer Natalie Maines' anti-George W. Bush comments.More

March 10, 2003 Dixie Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines sparks political controversy in the run-up to the US invasion of Iraq after telling a London audience: "Just so you know, we're on the good side with y'all. We do not want this war, this violence, and we're ashamed that the president of the United States is from Texas."

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