We knew Demi Lovato would be debuting a new song at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards on October 14, and she used the opportunity to make a direct political statement. In “Commander in Chief,” she makes it clear who she’s singing about. Watch the music video above. In the description under the video she urges, “Please join me and vote in this year’s election.”
Pop stars are often general with the political statements they put to music, like Taylor Swift backing gay rights in “You Need to Calm Down” or Katy Perry commenting that “we think we’re free” while “living in a bubble” in “Chained to the Rhythm,” but Lovato is direct with her criticism of the US president: “You can’t get enough of shutting down systems for personal gain / Fighting fires with flyers and praying for rain / Do you get off on pain? / We’re not pawns in your game.”
Her most pointed commentary comes in the chorus, where she sings, “We’re in a state of crisis, people are dying / While you line your pockets deep / Commander in Chief / How does it feel to still be able to breathe?” She’s referencing COVID-19, of course, which Donald Trump himself contracted, receiving world-class, government-provided health care and the telling other Americans, many of whom struggled to be tested and treated, not to let it take over their lives.
“Commander in Chief” is somewhat reminiscent of The Chicks‘ “Not Ready to Make Nice,” which was their response to the backlash and death threats they received for criticizing George W. Bush back in the 2000s. And 2020 alone has spawned a number of political anthems addressing our current climate, from H.E.R.‘s “I Can’t Breathe” to Lil Baby‘s “The Bigger Picture.” Lovato co-wrote this song with Eren Cannata, Justin Tranter, Grammy nominee Julia Michaels and five-time Grammy winner Finneas, best known for his work with his sister Billie Eilish. Cannata and Finneas also produced the track. What do you think of Lovato’s foray into protest music?
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