Hillary Clinton enlists Jay Z, Beyonce in push to attract young voters
WASHINGTON — Hillary Clinton enlisted some star power Friday with a concert featuring Jay Z, Beyonce, Chance the Rapper and Big Sean, part of an effort to drum up excitement behind her campaign the weekend before Election Day.
The Cleveland concert, meant to drive up turnout among young people in Ohio, was announced weeks ago, but only as a Jay Z performance, not a joint appearance with his wife, who was set to perform later in the evening, a source familiar with the concert told CNN.
CBS News first reported that Beyonce would appear at the Cleveland event.
Beyonce has long been a Clinton supporter. She attended a Clinton fundraiser in New York City in 2015, but this was the first time she’s performed on Clinton’s behalf.
Jay Z has been slow to back Clinton, especially considering how close he has been with President Barack Obama. The rapper even said in 2009 that he texts with the President, which Obama denies.
Clinton supporters filed into the Wolstein Center at Cleveland State University hours before the concert started, buzzing about the prospect of special guests.
While Jay Z and Beyonce are the draw, voters said just being associated with the two icons will help Clinton.
“People are excited for the concert and they know exactly who it is for,” said Olufunke Buraimoh, a 27-year-old medical student at Kent State. “The opportunity to share with other people gets them excited to vote for her.”
Buraimoh says she has long been a Clinton supporter. “There is not an option to not vote,” she said.
Donald Trump, rallying voters in Hersey, Pennsylvania, as the Clinton concert began, bragged about filling a stadium without special guests.
“I hear we set a new record for this building, and by the way, I didn’t have to bring J-Lo or Jay Z,” he said. “I am here all by myself. Just me. No guitar. No piano. No nothing.”
Clinton’s campaign has turned to a number of high-profile celebrities — and concerts — to spur young people to vote.
Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony performed at a concert with Clinton in Miami on Saturday, Miley Cyrus knocked on doors at George Mason University last month and Katy Perry, who will perform with Clinton on Saturday night in Philadelphia, campaigned in Las Vegas last month.