Leon Bridges was scheduled to perform during the first night of the Democratic National Convention. And while the Texas singer was known to his fans, other people watching the DNC may not be as familiar with him.
Here’s everything you need to know.
Bridges, 31, was expected to bring his soulful sound to the DNC, but it was unclear where he would be performing since the convention has turned virtual because of the coronavirus pandemic. He could be performing from his hometown of Fort Worth, where he fine-tuned his musical artistry before shooting to fame behind his debut album, “Coming Home,” which was released in 2015.
His music managed to capture the attention of President Barack Obama, who has reliably listed Bridges’ tunes on his summer playlist, including this year’s version. Obama, who may or may not have hipped Joe Biden to Bridges’ talents, might be hooked on the singer’s most recent hit, “Sweeter,” one of the lead singles from his forthcoming album. Bridges recently performed the song live remotely for the music site Genius.
Here’s a look at his official music video for the song.
Despite his acclaim for making soul music, he told Billboard in 2015 that wasn’t the type of music he listened to in his youth.
“It’s crazy — I didn’t grow up with any of this music,” he said at the time. “All this shows that you can’t teach soul music. It has to be something already inside you. It’s not something that you can try to do — it’s who you are.”
While Bridges’ music may not be all that political, the singer has been known to offer some political commentary, both on and off wax, like when he spoke to the BBC in 2018 about the topic of race in America.
“In America, I feel that the system wasn’t designed for people of colour to succeed,” Bridges said while discussing the inspiration behind his song “Bad Bad News.” He said the track was about people doubting his decision to pursue a career in music.
“I want to use my platform to speak on race and the problems within the world and within America, but it’s hard for me personally to put that in a song and make it poetic,” he told the BBC. “I feel a lot of pressure to make political music. But at the base of it, I want it to be a good song and not just rush and make something political for the sake of it.”
Fast forward two years and now here he is serenading America in an effort to prevent the re-election of a racist president.
The Democratic National Convention began one day after CNN’s most recent survey showed Biden clinging to a slim polling lead of just 4 percentage points — 50 percent to Trump’s 46 percent — if the election was held today.
However, an ABC News poll found Biden’s lead to be a little more pronounced with a double-digit percentage lead, 53 percent to 41 percent.