Why Katy Perry is Using Her Music to Send a Serious Message

Katy Perry took to the Grammy stage on Sunday night for a politically charged performance of her new song, “Chained to the Rhythm,” which features Skip Marley.

Perry has enjoyed tremendous mainstream success since the release chart-topping single “I Kissed a Girl” in 2008. But the pop superstar has been on a three-year hiatus since 2013’s release of “Prism,” making her most recent claim to fame her political advocacy and outspoken support of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

When Footwear News caught up with Perry last month for an exclusive interview about the Feb. 16 launch of her eponymous footwear line, she was candid about her desire to create a powerful messages with her music:

“Fame for me is a by-product of what I do but it’s not the reason I decided to get into music,” Perry said. “The reason I wanted to get into music is to share my story and share the stories of others and give them that voice and to connect. Human connection is why we’re on this f–king planet and music does that so well.”

It’s no wonder, then, that the singer would send several political messages during last night’s Grammy performance at which she donned a white pantsuit — presumably a nod to Clinton — and an armband inscribed with the word “Persist.” (The armband was likely a reference to an incident in Congress last week, when Senator Elizabeth Warren was cut off on the Senate floor while giving a speech against Jeff Sessions’ confirmation as attorney general. Variations of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s explanation: “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted,” have become a feminist rallying cry.)

The singer ended the performance shouting “No hate” as she and Marley stood against a wall — deemed to represent President Donald Trump’s controversial Mexican border — reflecting words from the U.S. Constitution.

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