Pop Music and Politics United For Change

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No time in history has this been more apparent than in the most recent election, making Barack Obama the President. Musicians stepped up and created songs specifically to motivate young voters. "Yes We Can", with music written by will.i.am and George Pajon, Jr. of the Black Eyed Peas, along with excerpts from a speech by Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, became a viral mega hit.

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Pop music is seen as non-substantial, but music is a direct pathway to the youth of America, and on every level in our industry, we have shown we can make a difference.

Over the past four decades, music has made a profound impact on politics, from the civil rights and anti-war songs of Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and Peter Paul and Mary, through the anthemic hits of U2, Bruce Springsteen and Rage Against the Machine which highlighted social injustice both in America and abroad. Rock the Vote helped motivate and inspire millions of voters to register and participate.

"Music makes a difference in the political dialogue," says Los Angeles entertainment attorney, Helen Yu. "Pop music is seen as non-substantial, but music is a direct pathway to the youth of America, and on every level in our industry, we have shown we can make a difference."

And no time in history has this been more apparent than in the most recent election, making Barack Obama the President. Musicians stepped up and created songs specifically to motivate young voters. "Yes We Can", with music written by will.i.am and George Pajon, Jr. of the Black Eyed Peas, along with excerpts from a speech by Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, became a viral mega hit.

George Pajon, Jr. and will.i.am followed up on the success of "Yes We Can" with a song designed to inspire Americans, and the citizens of the world, to be more attuned to the environment. "Take Our Planet Back", which featured former Vice-President and Nobel Prize winner Al Gore, debuted on Oprah and captured the imagination of fans.

"One of the greatest things music does is cross racial and social barriers," says Helen Yu, who has represented George Pajon, Jr. for nearly a decade. "And this election saw the same sort of melting pot, with hopes and dreams of all Americans overcoming ethnic and racial lines. In Miami, you had Cuban kids voting for Obama two-to-one, stepping outside their traditional bases to vote for a candidate who they felt would bring them the best future, and all across America whites, blacks, and all races united in a dream that became a reality."

George Pajon, Jr., who is Cuban, and will.i.am, from East Los Angeles, are representative of the grassroots cultural forces that helped propel Obama to the White House. And to celebrate his victory, they joined with pop music producer and composer David Foster to create "America's Song", which showcased the musical talents of Mary J. Blige, Faith Hill, Seal, and Bono performing alongside George and will.i.am at the Kennedy Center the night before the Inauguration.

Helen Yu denotes, "It's a new chapter in our country's history. And it was a thrilling experience to see and hear a new song performed in Washington DC, one which represents the greatest ideals of our country and which showcases our multicultural backgrounds united for a greater good. And it is so uplifting to see and hear how music inspired this generation of voters. To work in an industry which can help propel positive change is tremendously uplifting."

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