demi lovato billboards Demi Lovato performs onstage at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards, broadcast on Oct. 14, 2020 at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California.
(Photo by Kevin Mazur/BBMA2020/Getty Images for dcp)

Demi Lovato sang “Commander in Chief” with the words “VOTE” in the backdrop at the 2020 Billboard Awards.

As award shows continue to adjust their programming amid the pandemic and COVID-19 restrictions, the 2020 Billboard Awards managed to present critical issues important to some of the biggest names in music, including Bad Bunny, Lizzo and Demi Lovato.

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Lovato sang her latest single, a ballad titled “Commander in Chief,” and solemnly played the political tune with the words “VOTE” in the backdrop. 

“Commander in Chief, honestly / If I did the things you do / I couldn’t sleep, seriously / Do you even know the truth?” the 28-year-old sang. “We’re in a state of crisis, people are dyin’ / While you line your pockets deep / Commander in Chief / how does it feel to still / Be able to breathe?”

The tune, a choice that can be seen as a direct hit to President Trump, got some backlash from internet users who told her she shouldn’t get political. Lovato responded to them on Instagram, saying she “would not be silenced for her political views.” 

She added, “You do understand as a celebrity, I have a right to political views as well? I literally don’t care if this ruins my career. This isn’t about that. My career isn’t about that. I made a piece of art that stands for something I believe in.”

Bad Bunny performed “Yo Perreo Sola” alongside reggaeton icon Ivy Queen and Nesi, he won Top Latin Artist immediately after his performance. During his acceptance speech, the Puerto Rican reggaetonero dedicated his award to women worldwide, particularly Latinas. He went on to address the escalating violence against women in Puerto Rico

“Enough with the machista violence against women,” Bad Bunny said in Spanish. “Let’s educate everyone now for a better future.”

He added, “It’s possible to dance, be educated and respectful at the same time.” 

During an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Ivy Queen talked about performing with Bad Bunny, whose real name is Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio.

“What made it great was Benito’s energy…His energy is everything,” she said. “He told me, ‘Let’s do this. I want the world to see powerful women like you and all that you have done for the industry.’ We did a spectacular job tonight. I am so happy.”

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Another winner of the night was Lizzo, who won Top Song Sales Artist and wore a black and white gown with the words “VOTE” all over. During her acceptance speech, Lizzo told fans that it was necessary to vote in the upcoming presidential election. 

“I’ve been thinking a lot about suppression,” she said, and added that she might not be the artist she is today “if it weren’t for the big Black women who refused to have their voices be suppressed.”

“Whether it’s through music, protest, or your right to vote, use your power. Use your voice and refuse to be suppressed,” Lizzo said. “When people try to suppress something, it’s normally because that thing holds power. They’re afraid of your power.”