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FILE - Taylor Swift performs at the iHeartRadio Wango Tango concert in Carson, California, June 1, 2019. LOS ANGELES - Pop singer and songwriter Taylor Swift on Monday released a star-stud. VOA

Pop singer and songwriter Taylor Swift on Monday released a star-studded music video that scolded social media trolls and urged fans to sign a petition demanding U.S. legal protections for gays, lesbians and transgender people.

The video for Swift’s new single “You Need to Calm Down” featured a surprise cameo by former rival Katy Perry plus a host of other celebrities. Perry’s appearance signaled an end to a spat between the two musicians which began in 2013 over backup singers in their shows.


Set in a pastel-colored trailer park, the video featured Swift, 29, relaxing in a pool while she called out her critics and those who attack LGBTQ people. “Shade never made anybody less gay,” she sang.

Celebrities in the video who identify as LGBTQ include Ellen DeGeneres, Billy Porter, RuPaul, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Adam Lambert, Hannah Hart and Tan France.


Pop singer and songwriter Taylor Swift on Monday released a star-studded music video that scolded social media trolls and urged fans to sign a petition. Flickr

Swift, all smiles and outfitted as French fries, hugged Perry, 34, dressed as a hamburger, a costume she wore to last month’s Met Gala fundraiser at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Social media posts in 2018 suggested an end to their spat, which had played out in their songs. On Tuesday, Perry posted a photo on her Instagram account, with Swift being tagged, showing a plate of cookies with the words “Peace at last” appearing to be written in icing.

At the end of the new video, two sentences on screen urged fans to sign a petition urging the U.S Senate to pass legislation that would protect LGBTQ people from discrimination.

The measure has already cleared the U.S. House of Representatives.

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“Let’s show our pride by demanding that, on a national level, our laws truly treat all of our citizens equally,” it said.

The petition had collected more than 222,000 signatures within a few hours.

Swift, who has more than 118 million Instagram followers, has been stepped into politics in 2018 by supporting two Democrats running in U.S. congressional elections in Tennessee.

Voter registrations spiked in the state, but Swift’s preferred candidate for Senate lost the election. (VOA)


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Rihanna was summoned from her seat to accept the honour, with the Prime Minister.

Singer Rihanna was honoured by Prime Minister Mia Mottley at an event which marked Barbados's new status as a republic, which was attended by Prince Charles. Addressing the pop star by her real name, the PM said: "Robyn Rihanna Fenty tomorrow morning shall have conferred upon her the order of national hero of Barbados."

Rihanna was then summoned from her seat to accept the honor, with the Prime Minister managing to rouse a laugh from the singer when she referenced her 2012 hit 'Diamonds', reports femalefirst.co.uk. She added: "On behalf of a grateful nation, but an even prouder people, we therefore present to you, the designee, for the national hero of Barbados." "And to accept on behalf of a grateful nation - you can come my dear - ambassador Robyn Rihanna Fenty, may you continue to shine like a diamond and bring honor to your nation." Rihanna, who was born in the St Michael parish of Barbados, found fame in 2005 after being spotted by a record producer and has since gone on to become one of the most successful female artists of all time with sales of over 250 million and recently reached billionaire status through her Fenty beauty brand.

The Prime Minister continued in her speech: "Commanding the imagination of the world through the pursuit of excellence, her creativity, her discipline, and above all else, her extraordinary commitment to the land of her birth. "Having satisfied that, Ambassador Robyn Rihanna Fenty has given service to Barbados which has been exemplified by visionary and pioneering leadership, extraordinary achievement and the attaining of the highest excellence to the Government of Barbados." It comes after a historic move for Barbados, which has become a republic after almost 400 years and welcomes its first president, Sandra Mason, after removing Queen Elizabeth as head of state. (IANS/ MBI)


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