My paper will argue that musical artists do NOT affect the outcome of elections because America voters do not see musicians as serious political voices. My project will examine the relationship between music and politics, with specific focus on the importance of an artist’s lyrical message. I will look at instances of music being exploited by political voices as well as how artists respond to such use. I will draw from examples in recent U.S. election cycles, particularly the 2016 election, as well as early instances from the 1980s and earlier. The political figures I examine might range from elected officials to activists and broadcasters.
I want to examine why there is often such a disconnect between musical and political messages. My paper will look primarily at the politics of the U.S., but also some international examples, in order to understand why this subject takes on a unique form here in the States compared to other parts of the world.
I want to include specific research around the 2016 election, including which artists supported which candidate and why such endorsements ultimately did not change the election’s outcome.
My paper will work towards determining the role of artists and entertainers in the political climate. It will look at musical messages over time and try to conclude what, if any, an artist’s responsibility is when it comes to social and political issues. I want to determine if and when an artist is justified in taking a stance against the use of music in politics, and when such exploitation can be considered harmless.
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