Barack Obama. Picture: AFP
President Barack Obama is counting on former President Bill Clinton and Bruce Springsteen, top surrogates for his campaign, to carry his message. But he also has enlisted an army of A-list performers and public figures -- from Lady Gaga to Billie Jean King, from Jay-Z to Crosby, Stills and Nash - to promote his re-election.
The Obama campaign provided a who's-who of 181 actors, musicians, authors, athletes, mayors, Congress members, and more that fit any and all demographic groups in the president's target zone.
All are being deployed to carry his message to television and radio in the waning days of a nip-and-tuck campaign.
On Saturday, Stevie Wonder played an unannounced concert for voters waiting in line to vote early in Cleveland. Wonder opened a rally for Obama by rocking the arena at the University of Cincinnati with a rendition of "Keep on Running."
Stevie Wonder. Picture: AFP
Songwriter John Legend, actor Laurence Fishburne, and congressman and civil rights hero John Lewis, D-Ga., were among those who went to Ohio to lead a "Souls to the Polls" effort with local churches.
The list includes some of Hollywood's big names - Samuel L. Jackson, Anne Hathaway, and Scarlett Johansson - who were talking to Top 40 radio stations. Jackson and comedian Chris Rock were on stations with primarily African American audiences urging voters to go to the polls Tuesday.
Danny DeVito and members of the FX sitcom "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" have canvassed neighborhoods in Wisconsin, made phone calls and visited colleges in the state.
Others on the Obama list include Black Eyed Peas' front man Will.i.am and rock band leaders such as Jim James of My Morning Jacket and Jeff Tweedy of Wilco.
Celebrity sells. Now it remains to be seen if voters buy.
Katy Perry wears her ballot at Obama rally
Perry gave a free concert at a park in a historically minority neighborhood just northwest of downtown Las Vegas to screaming fans, the same time Air Force One landed at McCarran International Airport across town.
Obama later told the crowd, "I believe in you. I need you to keep believing in me."
The Las Vegas campaign event drew more than 10,000 people, according to fire officials and organizers, with long lines still on sidewalks during Perry's 30-minute performance before Obama arrived.
Katy Perry wearing her ballot. Picture: AFP
The singer opened with a rendition of Al Green's soul hit, "Let's Stay Together," and played five songs, including "Teenage Dream," before ending with a thumping bass drum version of "Firework."
Perry, who recently also played a free concert at an Obama event in Los Angeles, paused before the last song Wednesday to exhort people in the Las Vegas crowd to vote early.
"Don't wait. Go tomorrow," she said. "How many of you are 18 here? It's going to be your first time, right?"