As the Democratic National Convention began the process of officially nominating Joe Biden and Kamala Harris for the presidential ticket August 17, Tony and Emmy winner Billy Porter performed a rendition of the 1966 protest anthem “For What It’s Worth,” backed by the song’s creator Stephen Stills. Check it out above.
The song was intended to be a response to the Sunset Strip curfew riots of 1966, which saw young people fighting back against police after local business owners had a curfew enacted on the Strip in Hollywood. In the years since, the song's lyrics have helped it become a classic and oft-used protest and anti-war song, with covers by Cher, The Staple Singers, and Rush.
Porter's first Broadway role was Teen Angel in the 1994 revival of Grease, going on to appear in the original productions of Smokey Joe's Cafe and Miss Saigon. He won a Tony Award for creating the role of Lola in Kinky Boots. He later appeared in FX's American Horror Story before becoming Pray Tell on Pose, a performance that won him an Emmy Award in 2018 and another nomination earlier this year for the series' second season.
This isn’t the first time the star has covered "For What It's Worth." In June, Porter released a music video overlaying the track with footage from recent Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality and systemic racism. Watch below.