LeBron James, Taylor Swift Among Most Influential Celebrities In 2020 Election: Study

The votes are in, and Tom Hanks, Dwayne Johnson, Oprah Winfrey and LeBron James have the most trusted opinions on political and social issues, according to a new survey of American voters. NBA star James was also cited for doing the most to raise awareness and motivation around voting in the general population and among Gen Z voters, and for having the most trusted opinions among Black voters.

Conducted by Whitman Insight Strategies and MRC Data in partnership with DISQO, the survey polled 1,103 likely voters (48 percent male; 52 percent female) across the United States from Oct. 8-13 to examine the intersections of entertainment, influence and politics ahead of the Nov. 3 election. MRC Data is a division of MRC, part owner of The Hollywood Reporter.

Celebrity influence has long been assessed to determine the impact stars have using their platforms to shed light on issues or persuade the public one way or another. The new study arrives at a divisive time in the United States both culturally and politically as elected leaders grapple with a viral pandemic and calls for racial and social justice against the backdrop of a heated election cycle. It also comes amid widespread if not unprecedented get-out-the-vote initiatives by celebrities. Whitman and MRC Data Researchers asked voters to specify whose opinion they trusted most, as well as name the issues they wanted celebrities to address, such as COVID-19, racial justice, healthcare, climate change, women’s rights, income equality and LGBTQ equality.

Overall, 12 percent of voters reported that an entertainer or athlete influenced their thinking regarding the election. Influence is higher among Black voters (28 percent), Hispanic/Latino voters (20 percent), LGBTQ (17 percent), Gen Z and Millennials (both 17 percent). Down the party line, Democratic voters are more likely to be influenced by athletes or entertainers than Republican voters at 17 percent to 9 percent. Among all voters, 36 percent said that James has done the most to raise awareness and motivate people regarding voting. Taylor Swift came in second with 13 percent, Johnson at 9 percent and Winfrey with six percent.

Tying with five percent were Cardi B, Beyoncé and Colin Kaepernick. James (22 percent), Swift (18 percent), Beyoncé and Cardi B (8 percent) all swayed Gen Z voters but Kanye West entered the mix in the age group by taking 11 percent. Swift’s positive sway among voters comes during a year when the superstar singer-songwriter has been consistently using her massive platform (87.3M on Twitter) to speak out on political issues.

Asked to name the person whose opinion they trusted the most regarding political or social issues in America, Hanks came in first among total voters by tallying 49 percent. He was followed closely by Johnson with 45 percent, Winfrey with 38 percent and James with 32 percent. Broken down by Democratic voters, the results were similar with Winfrey (55 percent) followed by Hanks (53 percent), Johnson (47 percent) and James (44 percent).

Rocker Kid Rock, a vocal supporter of Trump who recently appeared as a special guest of the president at last week’s debate, ranked as the most influential voice for Republican voters by snagging 46 percent of the votes. He was followed by Ted Nugent (43 percent), Hanks (42 percent) and Johnson (41 percent).

Among Gen Z voters, those with the most trusted opinions are recent Emmy winner Zendaya coming in at No. 1 with 59 percent of the votes, followed by Beyoncé (56 percent), Johnson (51 percent), James (43 percent), Winfrey (40 percent) and John Legend (40 percent). Black voters trust James (67 percent), Winfrey (55 percent), Kaepernick (54 percent) and Legend (53 percent). LGBTQ voters look to Lady Gaga (45 percent) followed by Winfrey (43 percent), Johnson (37 percent) and Beyoncé (36 percent).

James previously said engaging Black voters was his main goal heading into the election. In a New York Times piece, the Los Angeles Lakers superstar said he would be focused on the voting rights organization More Than a Vote to combat systemic racism at the polls. “We believe that Black people, our community, we’ve been pushed away from our civic duty. We’ve been fed misinformation for many years. And I’m in a position where I can educate people and, through More Than a Vote, educate people on who important this movement is, and how important their civic duty is.”

Johnson’s appearance as an influential voice is notable in that the WWE legend turned box-office superstar officially made his first public endorsement of a political candidate in September when he announced on social media that he was backing the Joe Biden, Kamala Harris ticket. He also shared the top spot in the favorability rankings in the Whitman Insight Strategies and MRC Data poll, with 74 percent of those surveyed listing him as favorable alongside Hanks, long called the nicest man in Hollywood. Rounding out the top 10 most favorable names: Reese Witherspoon, Alicia Keys, Leonardo DiCaprio, Neil Patrick Harris, John Legend, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Robert De Niro and Chris Evans. The bottom of the list, receiving a majority of unfavorable votes were Trump (57 percent), Kylie Jenner (49 percent), Kanye West (55 percent), Mitch McConnell (52 percent) and Kim Kardashian (56 percent).

Asked for whom they would vote for if the election were the day they completed the survey, 54 percent of respondents said they would cast for Joe Biden, while 42 percent of respondents said President Donald Trump. Only three percent were undecided. As early voting continues to hit record numbers across the country, the survey found that 59 percent of voters said they were more actively engaged this cycle than in 2016 with Democrats (63 percent), Republicans (56 percent), and Gen Z (70 percent) all reporting increased engagement.

One of the survey questions looked into the favorability of President Trump versus Dr. Anthony Fauci. The veteran immunologist, who has served as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, is part of the White House coronavirus task force but has found his work and recommendations routinely criticized by the president. Per the findings, Fauci was deemed favorable by 62 percent of the respondents as compared to 42 percent for Trump. Also unpopular: Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett who was voted unfavorable by 39 percent of respondents, making her the most unpopular court nominee since Robert Bork in 1987. Bork was nominated to the post by then-President Ronald Reagan but a Democrat-controlled Senate rejected the bid.

In terms of issues, 75 percent of voters said they wanted to see entertainers use their platforms to address social and political issues, specifically addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, voting and racial justice in America. By party, however, those numbers change with 93 percent of Democrats saying they are open to it, as opposed to 54 percent of Republicans. The survey also polled voters on a buzzy Hollywood topic: Should stars use awards shows to deliver politically-themed acceptance speeches? Sixty-two percent of Democrats voted yes, compared to 29 percent of Republicans. Majorities of Gen Z, Millennials, Black/African Americans, Hispanic/Latinos, Asian Americans and LGBTQ voters agreed with every category turning in upwards of 60 percent of the votes.

The survey also showed that fans of specific artists approved issue-based speeches: Lizzo (74 percent), Cardi B (73 percent), Billie Eilish (70 percent), Beyoncé (67 percent), and Ariana Grande (63 percent), to name a few. Leonardo DiCaprio’s early voting post on social media proved to be the most “energizing” for followers among election-related content, followed by Beyoncé, Johnson, Kerry Washington and James. Beyoncé’s Oct. 1 voting post on Instagram shared with her 155 million followers proved to be the most influential among Gen Z voters with 80 percent saying that it energized them to vote.

In another category, researchers asked voters to determine who had “done the right things” in response to such issues as election participation, COVID-19, racial justice and climate change. In each category, Biden came out on top followed closely by celebrities in each category except climate change which saw stars tie with Democrats. Trump and Republicans didn’t fare as well, coming in at eighth and ninth, respectively in election, COVID-19 and racial justice categories. Climate change saw slightly better results with Trump at No. 7 and Republicans at No. 8 out of 10.

Taking a look at news consumption, researchers asked voters to identify their favored news source. Democrats selected CNN which took 53 percent of the votes while Republican respondents selected Fox News with 55 percent of the votes. Gen Z overwhelmingly selected YouTube with 59 percent, followed by Google with 58 percent and Instagram with 54 percent. Millennial voters selected Google with 51 percent, Facebook at 49 percent and YouTube with 47 percent.

Lastly, respondents reported that they are open to companies that take positions on social and political issues with 65 percent of respondents saying its more important than ever to take a stand. And a total of 51 percent of respondents said that brands should work with a famous spokesperson who is open to sharing their take on social and political issues.

This article originally appeared in THR.com.

Harry Styles Hung Out at a Fan’s House (& Fed Her Fish) After His Car Broke Down

Yup, you read that right.

A Harry Styles fan named Theadora took to Instagram this week to share that the “Golden” superstar was actually at her house, fed her fish and sipped some tea after dealing with some car issues. The worst part? Theadora wasn’t even home.

Thankfully, Styles left her a note. “Theadora, my car broke down on your street and your dad’s friend kindly let me wait at your house with a cup of tea,” he wrote. “I’m devastated that we missed each other. Looking forward to meeting soon. Treat people with kindness.”

He also noted that he fed her fish, took photos with said fish and signed her copy of his album Fine Line. “Sending you all my love, I’m so sorry we missed each other,” he wrote. “Until next time, Harry.”

While Theadora’s Instagram account is private (likely due to the viral story), she left a cute message in her bio, sharing that the fish nourished by Styles is, in fact, named Harry.

See it all via a Twitter fanpage below.

Longtime Pearl Jam Manager Kelly Curtis Retires: Exclusive

Kelly Curtis, who has guided Pearl Jam for the entirety of the superstar rock band’s career, is retiring.

After 30 years, Curtis is passing the title of band manager to longtime management team member Mark Smith, the Pearl Jam organization confirms to Billboard.

Curtis, who had scant management experience before connecting with the band three decades ago, oversaw its meteoric rise to global superstars. His role with the band has often been compared to that of former U2 manager Paul McGuinness, who similarly helmed the rise of the Irish act U2 until he stepped down in 2013.

Under Curtis, Pearl Jam, which formed in 1990 in Seattle, broke through with its debut album, 1991’s Ten. The set catapulted the group into instant superstardom and, along with Nirvana, they were leaders in the grunge movement.

As their stature rose, the band didn’t hesitate to use its power to protect its fans, including filing an antitrust complaint against TicketMaster in 1994 over its service fees. Curtis was a steady hand over other difficult times, such as 2000, when nine fans were trampled at the Roskilde Festival in Denmark.

But Curtis oversaw far more joyous occasions than sad, including all 11 of the band’s studio albums debuting in the top 5 of the Billboard 200, with five starting at No. 1, and sold out tours around the world. The band’s most recent set, March’s Gigaton, debuted at No. 5 and was to be followed by a North American and European Tour that has been postponed due to COVID-19. The band will headline London’s Hyde Park in 2021.

Curtis, who the band thanked when it was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2017, did not immediately respond for a request for comment.

‘The Masked Singer’ Unveils the Lips: Here’s Who It Was

Spoiler alert!

The Masked Singer revealed the face behind the Lips on Wednesday night (Oct. 28), and the sparkly red pout, of course, was talk show host Wendy Williams.

Williams was part of Group C, which also included Squiggly Monster, Mushroom, Broccoli and Jellyfish. She delivered an energetic rendition of Odyssey’s “Native New Yorker,” though the performance was her last.

While Ken Jeong thought Mariah Carey was behind the Lips and Robin Thicke guessed Sandra Bernhard, Jenny McCarthy and Nicole Scherzinger both correctly named Williams as their first impression.

After she was unmasked, the talk show host revealed why she chose the Lips as her costume. “Well, first of all, they’re fabulous,” she said. “I can’t sing, I can’t dance, but I know how to have fun.”

Williams joins previously unmasked season four contestants Mark Sanchez (Baby Alien), Brian Austin Green (Giraffe), Mickey Rourke (Gremlin) and Busta Rhymes (Dragon).

Cardi B Named Footwear News’ Style Influencer of the Year

Footwear News unveiled the 34th annual FN Achievement Awards honorees on Wednesday (Oct. 28), and Cardi B got a special acknowledgement.

The rapper was named Style Influencer of the Year, which is no surprise as she’s always including high-end kicks in her lyrics (red bottoms and those Balenciagas, the ones that look like socks).

On Nov. 13, Cardi will be dropping a full collaboration with Reebok, which she announced on her birthday earlier this month. The Cardi B Club C sneakers feature a black and white design with a see-through sole, and are available in toddler and adult sizes, costing $50 and $100, respectively.

“I’ve always been into fashion. Back then, I couldn’t afford what I wanted, now I can. It’s easier and I have more connections with brands,” Cardi told FN. “I could wear the most uncomfortable shoe and I’m just going to take it and love it because it’s fashion, it’s beauty, it’s amazing, it’s different. I get bored, so that’s when me and my stylist [Kollin Carter], we get creative and come up with something new and amazing.”

Cardi will accept the honor during the first virtual FNAAs on December 8.

Hayley Williams Takes Aim at Ex-Paramore Bandmates in Message of Support for LGBTQ+ Community

Hayley Williams will not stand for homophobia, and took to Twitter to make her thoughts clear.

“there’s a reason there are only 3 people left in @paramore,” she tweeted on Wednesday (Oct. 28). “surprise, haters, it ain’t cause of me. paramore do not condone religiously/politically dogmatic beliefs which leave our LGBTQ+ friends, fans, & family feeling abandoned and hopeless.”

“and ya know, if that doesn’t jive with you, well, feel free to go to where all past members of paramore have gone which is literally anywhere else but paramore. to paramore’s LGBTQ+ family (and @ColormeBrian i am talkin straight to you) you are full of love and you are loved,” she concluded.

While she did not call anyone out specifically, fans theorized she was referring to guitarist Josh Farro, who left the band in 2011. Users in the comments unearthed an alleged Facebook comment in which Farro compares homosexuality with pedophilia.

The remaining members of Paramore and Farro have yet to respond Williams’ tweet.

Here Are the Lyrics to Yung Bleu’s ‘You’re Mines Still,’ Feat. Drake

Yung Bleu tapped Drake for the remix of his confessional ballad “You’re Mines Still,” which debuted at No. 52 on the Billboard Hot 100 this week (dated Oct. 31) for Bleu’s career-first entry and Drake’s 228th entry.

The original song is off the Atlanta rapper’s Love Scars: The 5 Stages of Emotions EP that he released earlier this month. Bleu told Complex in a recent interview that NBA player DeMarcus Cousins assisted with getting the remake off the ground, which took no time at all considering Drake sent in his verse the same day his team received the song.

Check out the lyrics below.

If I ever

If I ever made you angry, girl
Just know that it get better with time (time)
They say time heals
She can’t see her life without me, she’s so blind still
F— that n—a, you can tell him that you’re mines still

And she don’t wanna go to sleep, she angry
Lately, she been noticin’ he ain’t me

I wish that we can change places
Don’t want no new, new faces
She got my heartbeat racin’
They say time heals
Don’t go build no life without me, ’cause you’re mines still
Oh, and I don’t wanna go unless you make me

Pretty face, pretty tempted
But pretty taught me ugly lessons
Pretty had me givin’ more than I was gettin’
So if pretty don’t come with somethin’, well, then I dead it
Ashamed to tell my friends how much I’d do for you
‘Cause they know that you would never do the same for me
I wasn’t lookin’ for your secrets, they just came to me
And they contradicted everything you claimed to be
I took you to the club and you hugged on somebody that I know
And I know them type of hugs
Same sh– I do to women when I know I used to f—
And I know they with they n—a, but they never brought it up
I’m down these days, down to do better, ’cause you know I done enough
You should lay it down, we’ll talk about it when you’re up

But she don’t wanna go to sleep, she angry
Lately, she been noticin’ he ain’t me (he ain’t me, yeah)

I wish that we can change places
Don’t want no new, new faces
She got my heartbeat racing
They say time heals
Don’t go build no life without me ’cause you’re mines still
And I don’t wanna go unless you make me

Down on my knees, hopin’ you take me
Better tell that n—a you mine
Heard you’ve been trying to tie the knot, girl, tell me you lyin’
Let me beat that p—y up one more time
Let me beat that p—y up one more time
I know that you fiend for this, I know that you did not forget
So don’t go to sleep

And she don’t wanna go to sleep, she angry
Lately, she been noticin’ he ain’t me

I wish that we can change places
Don’t want no new, new faces
She got my heartbeat racin’
They say time heals
Don’t go build no life without me, ’cause you’re mines still
Oh, and I don’t wanna go unless you make me

Lately, I’ve been gone, I’m feelin’ crazy
Yeah, I’m from the bricks, we got a whole lot of bricks
You got a whole lotta tricks and I wanna see what you do with them

Lyrics licensed & provided by LyricFind

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

Written by: Jeremy Biddle, Aubrey Graham