It all seemed like a bad fever dream, a delirium-induced hallucination resulting from the shock of watching a reality-television star actually succeed in becoming President of the United States. Headline after headline announced that Kid Rock
indeed was intent on running for senate in 2018. After we all believed that American politics couldn't possibly sink to a new low following the 2016 presidential elections, it seemed that the political power structure in this country handed us its beer, and told us to watch what else it had up its sleeve.
Well, it now appears that we have averted at least one disaster and a lifetime of late-night talk show comedy fodder. Kid Rock announced
today that he is not in fact running for senate and went on to berate those of us fearful enough to believe that he actually was. He'll have to forgive us for being a little nervous though, especially when his new website
promised to "rock the party".
Yet while the saga of Senator Kid Rock seems to have ended for now, it is only one thread in a long history of musicians getting involved in politics. Listed here are some of the times music and politicis made strange bedfellows.
1. Wyclef Jean
Like Kid Rock, Wyclef Jean also had high ambitions in his pursuit of office. Born in Haiti, Jean technically had the ability to announce his candidacy for the office of President of Haiti, and in 2010 decided to do just that. His announcement was greeted with all the scepticism that follows unqualified persons announcing their plans to run for office, including new investigations into his Yele Haiti relief organization. Jean was found to have misused more than half of the 16 million dollars in donations the organization raised, and in late 2010 Haiti's electoral council disqualified his bid, on account of having not lived in Haiti for at least five years.
2. Sonny Bono
Sonny Bono is one of the rare cases in which a music-to-politics crossover actually was successful. Following his long and illustrious career with Cher, Sonny Bono attempted to open a restaurant in Palm Springs, California, only to find himself frustrated by the bureaucratic red tape of local government. Instead of quitting or trying to circumvent the problem, Bono faced it head on, and succeeded in winning the mayoral election in Palm Springs. He was also later elected to the US House of Representatives in 1994, thus making him the only senator with a number-one pop single on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. I have a feeling that feat won't be matched anytime soon.
3. Clay Aiken
One of the OG's of American Idol
, back when people looked forward to tuning into it. Though he finished a respectable second—with many people feeling that he was robbed—he went on to be one of the most successful Idol earners in history. However, Aiken seemed destined for more, especially in the public arena, as evidenced by his long history of charitable work with organizations such as The National Inclusion Project and UNICEF. Taking these efforts one step further, Aiken succeeded in grabbing the Democratic nomination in the 2014 midterm elections for North Carolina's 2nd congressional district. Aiken won a close nomination against fellow Democrat Keith Crisco, though it should be noted that Crisco died before the voting...awkward. Clay would go on to lose the election against incumbent Republican Renee Ellmers, but he won the race for our hearts years and years ago.
4. Jello Biafra
A punk rock icon, Biafra always had his finger on the socio-political pulse of the nation as lead singer of The Dead Kennedys. In 1979, he ran for the office of the mayor in San Francisco, and even adopted the slogan of Jell-O by quoting, "There's always room for jello". San Francisco didn't seem to agree, though Biafra did place fourth out of ten candidates, riding a strong platform that would open up abandoned buildings to the homeless and require businessmen to wear clown suits within city limits. What a world we missed out on.
5. 2 Live Crew's Uncle Luke
Luther Campbell, a.k.a. Uncle Luke, is probably most well known for fighting censorship laws and actually winning a Supreme Court case. In 2011, Campbell put in his bid for the mayor's office in Miami, and even had a pretty cohesive and respectable campaign platform that included improving government transparency and making low-income housing projects safer. Oh, and also taxing strippers in order to fund youth athletic programs. That one didn't quite sit well with citizens of Miami, and Campbell only won 11 percent of the vote.
6. Condoleezza Rice
Before becoming the Secretary of State for the George W. Bush administration, Rice was actually a well-regarded concert pianist. Though she initially majored in Music in university, seeing other, more talented students made her doubt her prospects of making it as a full-time concert pianist. She then transferred to the political realm, and the rest is history. Including that one time she got to perform for Queen Elizabeth II.