CALIFORNIA, U.S. - One of the most controversial U.S. elections in recent history is moving towards the final stages with polling just days away on November 8. And this time round, ...
• Beyonce, Oprah Winfrey, Kate Perry, Madonna back Clinton
• Mike Tyson, Dennis Rodman, Hulk Hogan support Donald Trump
• Celebrity endorsements help sway undecided voters
CALIFORNIA, U.S. - One of the most controversial U.S. elections in recent history is moving towards the final stages with polling just days away on November 8.
And this time round, celebrity endorsements are playing a particularly important role, with several voters still undecided on who to support on the D-Day.
Candidates are hoping that celebrities can persuade voters to support them. A lot of fans have, in fact, declared they will vote for whomever their idols are backing.
How does this help?
Endorsements from celebrities help achieve a number of other important objectives.
These A-listers play key parts in campaigns, promoting their candidate, holding fundraisers and performing at their events.
Notably, in 2012, for the Barack Obama campaign, Beyoncé and Jay Z raised funds amounting to $4 million and George Clooney raised $15 million. Also, in 2008, one of the most influential women in America, Oprah Winfrey, supported Barack Obama during his 2008 primary contest with Hillary Clinton, and succeeded in generating more than one million votes for him.
Hillary's backers mostly high-profile and influential A-listers
Some of Clinton’s high-profile endorsers include LeBron James, Amy Schumer, Katy Perry, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ellen DeGeneres, Drew Barrymore, George Clooney, Khloe Kardashian, Kerry Washington, Viola Davis, Britney Spears, Richard Gere, Salma Hayek, Lena Dunham, Jennifer Lopez, Leonardo DiCaprio , Snoop Dogg and basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Futher, Cher, Morgan Freeman, Demi Lovato, Elton John and Will Ferrell also endorsed Clinton.
Kim Kardashian, too, backed Clinton. The star tweeted a picture of herself, her husband Kanye West and Clinton with the caption “I really loved hearing her speak and hearing her goals for our country.”
Meanwhile, the Democratic National Convention saw a star-studded turnout with the likes of Lena Dunham, Elizabeth Banks and Alicia Keys out in force to declare their support for the Democrat candidate and mock her Republican rival Trump.
Veteran actress Meryl Streep gave a rare political endorsement at the convention.
“Hillary Clinton has taken some fire over 40 years of her fight for families and children," Streep said in her speech. "How does she do it? That's what I want to know. Where does she get her grit and her grace? Where do any of our female firsts, our path breakers — where do they find that strength?"
Singer Kate Perry also took to the stage at the Democratic convention to perform her latest hit ‘Rise.’
She told the crowd “that's right – I love Hillary too" before performing her hits song ‘Roar.’
She earlier appeared naked in a video encouraging young citizens to register to vote.
Like Perry, Madonna also posed without clothes to show her support for Clinton. And in another post, she explained why she is backing the former First Lady. “Yes I vote for intelligence. I vote for equal rights for women and all minorities,” she wrote.
"Women run the world now they have to get out and start supporting one another. No more misogynist feminists! No more misogyny. Get out and vote," she went on to say.
Another celebrity supporter is Lady Gaga, who has sung together with Tony Bennett for a fundraising campaign for Hillary Clinton.
Oprah Winfrey too formally endorsed Clinton last June and musician John Legend has already performed at an event for Clinton.
Meanwhile, Beyonce, this time round, has lent her support to Clinton and was spotted at one of her fundraisers in New York last year.
More recently, in a bid to urge black voters and millennials to vote on Tuesday - famous names in hip-hop came out to rally votes in an event on Friday. The event featured Beyonce, Jay Z and Chance the Rapper.
The celebs are said to have implored thousands of cheering people to back Clinton and emphasised on the historical significance of potentially electing the first woman as president.
Beyonce who sang ‘Formation’ said, “I want my daughter to grow up seeing a woman leading the country. That’s why I’m with her.”
Jay Z meanwhile said Trump was not fit to be president.
He said, “I don’t have any ill will toward him, but his conversation is divisive. He cannot be my president. He cannot be our president.”
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, The Modern Family actor, also tweeted his support to Clinton and has helped with her campaign by appearing on ads.
Donald Trump's celeb backing
Among the Republican candidate's high profile backers is former boxing champion Mike Tyson, who apparently said the United States has to “try something new,” to which Trump declared in April - “All the tough guys endorse me. I like that.”
Another famous sportsman, basketball player Dennis Rodman, is also a Trump supporter, who feels America needs "a businessman like Mr. Trump.” Actor Clint Eastwood has also said they will vote for Trump on Election Day.
Wrestler Hulk Hogan declared he was a Trump supporter and singer Aaron Carter said he intends to vote for the Republican nominee.
Trump’s supporters also include Azealia Banks, Sarah Palin, Tom Brady, Charlie Sheen, Kid Rock, Donnie Wahlberg, Gary Busey, Tim Allen and Chuck Norris, as well as Scott Baio and Tila Tequila.
Actor Jon Voight, father of Angelina Jolie, is one of Trump's most ardent supporters.
Actress Kirstie Alley, who earlier tweeted a formal endorsement, meanwhile appears to have changed her mind.
Celebrity endorsements can, however, sometimes backfire on the celebrity, as seen in the case of Amy Schumer’s recent show in Florida, when the comedian expressed her disgust for the Republican presidential nominee, describing him as an “orange, sexual-assaulting, fake-college-starting monster.”
Schumer added, “So we’re going to spend five more minutes talking about it and if you don’t like it, you can go to the bathroom or you can leave.” In response, two hundred people took Schumer up on the offer and left the show, booing.
Top 5 celebrity endorsements this U.S. election
1. For Donald Trump, sports star Mike Tyson is among the top celebrity supporters. Jon Voight also said that he is supporting Donald Trump because "he's an answer to our problems." Voight also called Trump "funny, playful, and colorful, but most of all, he is honest."
2. Oprah Winfrey's support will be crucial for Hillary Clinton. A negative comment by a credible endorser such as her can be as damaging as a positive one.
3. The support of George Clooney, a celebrity with prior political activism, is likely to have a strong influence. Clooney and his wife Amal hosted a fundraiser for Clinton at their home in Los Angeles back in April. Tickets for the upmarket affair cost $353,4000 (270,400 pounds) per couple.
4. 19-time Oscar-nominated actress Meryl Streep included Clinton in a long line of groundbreaking women like Madeleine Albright, Eleanor Roosevelt, Harriet Tubman, and Sandra Day O'Connor.
5. The support of Beyonce will also be crucial for Clinton, who is trying to woo black voters. She won just 17 percent of their votes in the 2008 Democratic primary.