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Music icons Rihanna, Taylor Swift, John Legend, Janelle Monae, more urge fans to vote

Some of the world’s biggest artists are pushing to get voters to register ahead of the upcoming U.S. midterms

Some of the world’s biggest artists are pushing to get voters to register ahead of the upcoming U.S. midterms

(Credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

Some of the world's biggest stars are taking to social media to get their fans to vote in the upcoming U.S. midterm elections.

Rihanna, Taylor Swift, John Legend and Kim Kardashian are among the stars telling their millions of followers to register, with some of them even posting the registration deadlines.

"GOOD MORNING AMERICA. Who is awake this morning? And who's woke?" wrote Rihanna in an Instagram post on the day that 14 states wrapped up their voter registration.

"You have 1 job today and that is to properly register to vote. I don't care what responsibilities you have today, there's no greater responsibility than being in control of your future and the future starts NOW!!" she said. "We don't have time, no procrastinating, don't let the discouragement take you off course, that's not how my people or my generation will go down...this is the loudest way to make your voice heard! REGISTER TODAY! Let's go!!!"

Meanwhile Janelle Monae teamed up with @WhenWeAllVote, and in a video tweet, talks about strongly she feels about voting — especially since her ancestors weren't allowed to vote at all.

"When I cast my first vote it was deeply personal to me because I would think about my grandmother who shared one pair of shoes with her brothers and sisters, picked cotton in Aberdeen, Mississippi, served food in the county jail for 25 years," she says in the video. 

"I would think about her and my ancestors who lived through segregation and didn't get the right to vote. I was voting for them. I felt extremely powerful. I felt like I have a say in the democracy. I still believe that the power is in the people. It's in us," she says. "And the fact that I showed up, I felt like I was adding to something that had the power to change the future."

Taylor Swift made major waves last week when she revealed her political leanings to her millions of social media followers, and backed Democratic candidates Phil Breseden for Senate and Jim Cooper for the House of Representatives in her voting state of Tennessee.

Within 24 hours of her social media message, more than 166,000 people, most of them between the ages of 18 and 24, reportedly registered. 

Then as she accepted the artist of the year honour at the American Music Awards, Swift urged fans to get out and vote. 

John Legend, Alicia Keys, Kesha, Common, Katy Perry and Chance the Rapper are among the other major artists pushing for fans to register before their state deadlines. 

"I am definitely registered. Trust me. I go up into that neighbourhood school in my neighbourhood and I get that big piece of paper they give you," says Keys in her Twitter video. 

"Trust me. I'm not playing around because this is the biggest party that we can show up for. And I'm not trying to be silent and quiet. We're not silent and quiet. We run the world."

The U.S. midterm elections are happening November 6.

About the Author

Jennifer Van Evra

Jennifer Van Evra is a Vancouver-based journalist and digital producer for q. She can be found on Twitter @jvanevra or email jennifer.vanevra@cbc.ca.

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