A Very Special Message: The 10 Best Rock-Star Public Service Announcements
Ever since the Ad Council introduced the "Rosie the Riveter" poster, public service announcements have either warned us of the dangers of such risky behaviors as having unsafe sex, as well as reasons you should vote, or even to spay and neuter your pets. As rock and roll became more popular, artists have also warned us about things like child safety, the dangers of smoking and drugs, the dangers of drinking and driving and heart disease.
Eric Clapton, Child Safety PSA In 1991, blues legend Eric Clapton suffered the worst loss that any parent could imagine: His 4-year-old son, Conor, crawled out of the window of Clapton's New York City apartment and fell from the 53rd story of the building. He has good reason to be concerned about child safety.
The B-52's for the Foundation for AIDS Research: Shortly after original guitarist Ricky Wilson died of complications from an AIDS-related illness, the grief-stricken band briefly came out of seclusion and teamed up with the Foundation for AIDS Research.
Ted Nugent's Genesis Addiction Center PSA There is really one word that describes the Motor City Madman: Insane. However, when it comes to drugs and addiction, he isn't insane -- he's right. He's very outspoken in his anti-drug stance. Heck, many rockers have lost their lives to drug abuse.
"Get Out the Vote" PSA starring Reba, Taylor Swift, Trisha Yearwood, Jewel, Wynonna Judd and Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles:If rock has roll has Rock The Vote, country-music women have "Get Out the Vote" courtesy of Lifetime. Clever and quite nice because even country fans need to get out and vote too.
Pat Benatar for the American College of Emergency Physicians PSA: One of the most prolific rock artists of all time, Benatar has been somewhat of a spokesperson for her own generation. Now that her generation is getting older, some are having to deal with heart disease. Here, she encourages women to know the symptoms of its onset.
Bono, Gwen Stefani and many film and television actors for the ONE campaign's The Lazarus Effect: U2 lead singer Bono is a man driven by faith who created the ONE campaign and named it after a U2 song. The ONE campaign teams up with other charities such as World Vision and DATA, among others, to give humanitarian aid to African countries. In this PSA, the U2 frontman teamed up with musicians such as Common and Gwen Stefani as well as actors and actresses such as Dakota Fanning, Michelle Rodriguez, Don Cheadle and many more.
Madonna's Rock the Vote PSA: In 1990, pop legend Madonna made a public service announcement commercial for a then fledgling PAC called Rock the Vote. Since Rock the Vote's inception in 1990, voting among young people has dramatically increased.
Christina Aguilera's Rock the Vote PSA: In many ways, this kind of seems like an update of Madonna's original 1990 commercial. However, there is a twist: Aguilera is holding her infant son and is not Madonna in lingerie with dancers. In many ways, this is like her passing the baton of having a say in the government to the next generation -- which, in this case, happens to be her son.
Toni Braxton for Autism Awareness: PSAs work well when they hit close to home for the presenter. For R&B singer Toni Braxton, hers hit really close to home in the form of her son. According to msnbc.com, one night during a performance at the Flamingo in Las Vegas, Braxton broke down crying during her performance when talking about her son's diagnosis.
Gretchen Wilson encourages people to get their GED: When country music superstar Gretchen Wilson topped the charts in 2004 with massively popular songs such as "Redneck Woman," "Here For the Party," and "Homewrecker," the highest degree of education she had was 8th grade. Here, she talks about her experience in getting her GED and how she has teamed up with the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to help others do so.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.