Ariana Grande is wrapping up her whirlwind year with some big news: She’s throwing her support behind presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders. The Vermont senator attended Grande’s Atlanta concert Tuesday night ahead of Wednesday’s Democratic debate, which also took place in Atlanta. And it was truly a meeting of the minds.
On Wednesday, Grande shared a few backstage snapshots with Sanders on Twitter, and her captions suggest that she’s already picked her top candidate for the 2020 presidential race. She referred to him as “my guy,” and expressed gratitude for the senator’s progressive platform.
“Thank you Senator Sanders for coming to my show, making my whole night and for all that you stand for!” Grande wrote. “@headcountorg and I are doing our best to make you proud. We’ve already registered 20k+ young voters at my shows alone. Also I will never smile this hard again promise.”
According to USA Today, Grande partnered with Headcount, a nonprofit organization, to spearhead a voter registration initiative called “#thankunextgen” on her Sweetener World Tour. On Instagram, she applauded her fans for their activism and engagement. “I’m so proud of my fans for paying attention and getting involved,” Grande said. “We adore you!
Back in 2016, the singer was among the many celebrities who showed support for Hillary Clinton. When the former Secretary of State announced her candidacy, Grande tweeted her enthusiasm: “yaaas @hillaryclinton.” She even made custom Dangerous Woman-inspired tour merch that gave a shout out to Clinton. But, following the election of Donald Trump, Grande said she was “in tears” over the election outcome. At the time, she called upon her followers to be kinder to one another, a sentiment she continues to echo in the upcoming 2020 vote.
“Let’s please be active and vocal every day toward making each other feel accepted and loved for our differences not just on election day,” she said in 2016. “It’s the only way we will be able to get through what could possibly be a very dark few years.”
Now, Ariana's latest endorsement is once again is in good company — in recent months, Sanders has collected several high profile supporters. In July, he teamed up with Cardi B to create a campaign video aimed at getting young people more involved in politics. Cardi tweeted about Sanders, saying that she'd be reading about him since the last election cycle and was disappointed that he wasn't even elected the democratic candidate. “This man been fighting for equal rights, HUMAN rights for such a long time. Seeing this country become a better place been really his passion for a long time not a new front for a campaign.”
Also on the list of Bernie backers? Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, key players of the so-called progressive congressional “squad,” both announced their endorsements for Sanders last month.
Sanders responded to Grande’s support with his own gratitude, complimenting her effort to take a stand in the upcoming election. “We must all be prepared — like Ariana has shown — to fight for everyone who is struggling. It was great to meet her in Atlanta last night.”