Only 6 Of The 20 Most Popular Brazilian Pop Singers Declare Their Votes

In the midst of a campaign defined by polarization and attacks, Youtube starts keep quiet and avoid endorsing any presidential candidate

São Paulo

Only six out of the 20 most popular singers in Brazil, according to Youtube rankings, publicly endorsed a candidate in the presidential runoff that happens on Sunday (28th): five for the frontrunner Jair Bolsonaro (PSL) and one against him.

All endorsements happened online. Country duo Zé Neto and Cristiano, who leads the Youtube charts, declared their support for Bolsonaro.

In a Youtube video, Zé Neto sends "his regards to Eduardo Bolsonaro," the candidate's son, "a great guy, who knows a lot about guns" and chanted the slogan "You better get used to it," that in Portuguese is a pun with Bolsonaro's first name, Jair.

Gusttavo Lima, ninth place on Youtube, also publicly endorsed Bolsonaro. In February, he published a social media video of him having shooting classes in the United States. In the caption, the singer advocated for the end of Brazil gun control laws and mentioned Bolsonaro.

Brazilian country singer Marília Mendonça - Michelle Felippelli/Zimel

Specialists say the misgivings in publicly endorsing a politician are due to an above average polarization and a fear of displeasing music concert promoters. It also weighs on the artists the possibility of a social media backlash, since boycott and offensive posts are now commonplace.

That what happened to Marília Mendonça. One month ago, after joining the #EleNão (Not Him) protests, the Brazilian country singer became the target for Bolsonaro supporters' anger. She ended up deleting her video, and in another post, said her family members received threats. "I will leave here my deep silence regarding any political issue."

Besides the digital truculence, there is also a lot of money at stakes. According to estimates, Mendonça is currently the third highest paid singer in the country, earning R$ 350,000 (US$ 95,000) per concert. With paid endorsements, her income is estimated to reach R$ 10 million (US$ 2,7 million) per month.

The distaste for political statements also has to do with how peaks of popularity tend to be short-lived, says lawyer and music agent Thiago Endrigo.

"Someone that made it to the top of the charts won't take any risks because they don't know if they are surfing a wave of two days, two months or two years," he said.

Translated by NATASHA MADOV

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