Tony, Grammy and Emmy Award-winning actor and singer Billy Porter closed out Night One of the Democratic National Convention with his rendition of Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth,” likely better known as “Stop, Hey, What’s That Sound?”
Porter’s rendition was released in June.
In the pre-recorded video played at Monday’s DNC, Porter, wearing a sheer flowing vest, was accompanied by Buffalo Springfield member Stephen Stills on guitar. Images pertaining to social justice in America were displayed in the background as Porter sang and danced. The theme of the DNC this year (and of the party itself) is the importance of inclusion, and both the song and video encourage us to listen to our neighbors and stand together in the face of adversity.
“We have been double-speaking for three years,” Porter said during an interview with MSNBC after his performance at the DNC. “Everybody has been afraid to say exactly what the truth is, and the truth is: Donald Trump has destroyed our country.”
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Porter’s rendition was also the background track for a powerful video by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), which features videos and images of violence, police brutality and more throughout the past few years in America under the Trump Administration. In an interview with Variety on Monday, Stills of Buffalo Springfield—who released the original version of “For What It’s Worth” in 1967—praised Porter’s “great cover” of the track.
Porter has been vocal about the importance of voting in the 2020 Presidential election. In a July video interview with The Root, he made clear that the goal is not only getting Trump out of office, but to “[seize] back the Senate” and the Supreme Court, and to give power to elected officials who have the peoples’ interests at heart.
“This is about electing mayors and city council members who actually decide how much money to give it to the police departments and who is actually going to be a police chief,” Porter told us. “So if you’re focused only on racial justice and you’re concerned about making sure that we have more diverse people that are working in policing, you need to vote.
“We can’t lose again,” he continues. “If we lose again, we lose the Supreme Court...we have to appreciate that this election is the election of our lifetimes; everyone has to understand how important this is, and that is what we’re fighting for.”
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