Both Beyonce and Hillary Clinton made surprise appearances at Jay Z’s Cleveland concert on Friday. The Jay Z show was a political rally to encourage voter turnout in the important swing state of Ohio, but no one knew that Beyonce or Hillary would show up.
The Cleveland concert was meant to inspire black voters to choose Clinton on election day. Although Republican nominee Donald Trump has a slim lead in Ohio, polls show that Trump garners less than two percent of the African American vote.
The the sold out Jay Z show featured sets from Chance the Rapper, Big Sean, and J. Cole. However, after all of the male performers put on their show, that’s when the real fun began. Beyonce walked onto the stage and delivered a powerful endorsement for Hillary Clinton.
Rolling Stone reported that Beyonce talked about women’s history, privilege, and societal change on stage. “There was a time when a woman’s opinion did not matter. If you were black, white, Mexican, Asian, Muslim, educated, poor or rich; if you were a woman, it did not matter,” Beyoncé said.
“Less than 100 years ago, women did not have the right to vote. Look how far we’ve come from having no voice to being on the brink of making history again by electing the first woman president.”
Both Beyonce and Clinton weren’t officially scheduled to appear at the event, but rumors circulated that the Queen B would make an appearance. Thankfully, Beyonce arrived to deliver a stellar performance including her now legendary song “Formation” with pantsuit-clad backup dancers as a nod to Clinton’s best-known fashion choice.
“Formation” and Beyonce’s Clinton-inspired outfit were just the beginning of the pop megastar’s performance. Beyonce also performed some choice songs that tied back to Clinton and her campaign. Beyonce busted out “Freedom” and the perfectly matched “Run the World (Girls).” Hopefully, both songs will usher in a female presidency with a Beyonce soundtrack.
Although Beyonce took center stage for the Cleveland performance, she sang “Holy Grail” with her husband during Jay Z’s set. Jay Z was obviously enough to draw sold out crowds at the Cleveland performance, but Beyonce’s presence and influence is magnetic and a great surprise for everybody who went to support Clinton, see Jay Z, or simply enjoy a free show.
After the Beyonce and Jay Z’s duet, Clinton finally made her stage appearance. Clinton is used to campaigning with famous surrogates and supporters such as Jay Z and Beyonce, Katy Perry, and Jennifer Lopez, but her appearance in Cleveland helped to humanize the sometimes off-putting candidate.
Jay Z and Beyonce held events supporting Barack Obama in both the 2008 and 2012 presidential election and now they’ve put their support behind Clinton. According to CNN, Clinton’s brief speech in Cleveland called back to a statement that Jay Z said during his 2008 performance for Barack Obama.
“And remember, Jay memorably said something we should all recall,” Clinton said on stage,
“Rosa Parks sat so Martin Luther could walk. And Martin Luther walked so Barack Obama could ran. And Barack Obama ran so all the children could fly!”
Clinton, who has been plagued by e-mail scandals and questions of character throughout the presidential race, pulled out all the stops in Ohio. The swing state controls 18 electoral votes and Donald Trump currently has a slight lead in the swing state. Clinton has been campaigning in Ohio for months, but she’s focused on the state to hopefully carry her victory a national victory.
Jay Z and Beyonce aren’t the only celebrities holding events for Clinton. NBA superstar and Cleveland Cavaliers MVP Lebron James will also host an event for Clinton. James has been an outspoken advocate for Clinton in the past, stating that she understands the disparities that exist in the United States.
The planned event with James will take place in downtown Cleveland on November 6.
[Featured Image by Matt Rourke/AP Images]