As voices get louder and tensions rise in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election, Demi Lovato has joined forces with Billie Eilish’s brother and musical collaborator Finneas for a lyrically unfiltered criticism of President Donald Trump’s leadership, “Commander in Chief.” According to the announcement, the song, which dropped in the early hours of Wednesday, is “an effort to vocalize the powerful emotions felt by millions and mobilize fans to get out and vote.”
Lovato will perform the song tonight (Wednesday, Oct. 14) at the Billboard Music Awards, airing live at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.
Written by Lovato and Finneas with the hitmaking team of Julia Michaels, Justin Tranter and Eren Cannata, Lovato sings:
“We were taught when we were young,
If we fight for what’s right there won’t be justice for just some.
We won’t give up, stand our ground.
We’ll be in the streets while you’re bunkering down.
Loud and proud, best believe
We’ll still take knee, while you’re
Commander in Chief.”
Lovato talked about her reasons for speaking up with the song in an interview with CNN Wednesday. “You’re damned if you do, you’re damned if you don’t,” she told the network. “You can list Taylor Swift as a perfect example of that exact saying … For years she got trashed because she wasn’t taking a stance and wasn’t standing up for these rights and she kind of took a back seat and now she’s become very political and there are people that are unhappy with that too. It’s just, like, you have to live what feels authentic to you. To me, that’s using my platform to speak out about the things that I see that are wrong.”
She also told CNN, “There’s been so many times that I’ve wanted to write the President a letter or sit down with him and ask him these questions,” she told CNN. “And then I thought, I don’t really actually want to do that and I thought one way that I could do that is writing a song and releasing it for the whole world to hear and then he has to answer those questions to everyone and not just me.” Asked if she thought Trump might react, Lovato said, “Bring it on. Prove to them you’re exactly who I said you are in the song. Just do it, go for it.”
Finneas lauded Lovato in an Instagram post, writing, “I think people underestimate the bravery it takes to put out a song like this when your platform is as large as Demi’s is. But Im sure if you asked her, she’d tell you it was her responsibility. It was an honor to produce this one for the wildly talented Demi Lovato.”
Along with releasing the song, Lovato is also providing fans information about the voting process and how they can take action via her social media channels. She will also release an accompanying music video for “Commander In Chief” following her Billboard Music Awards performance tonight.
Lovato is a longstanding advocate for mental health who has released two songs on that theme earlier this year. In March, she released the self-reflective “I Love Me” and then most recently, partnering with Marshmello for the release of “Ok Not To Be Ok” timed to Global Suicide Prevention Day.