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Jay Z Set To Hold Ohio Concert For Clinton Aimed At Young Black Voters

A move to mobilize the coalition that fueled Obama's two wins — and tip the scales in the state from Trump to Clinton.

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Jay Z is set to hold a "get out the vote" concert for Hillary Clinton in Ohio aimed at mobilizing black voters, three sources told BuzzFeed News on Monday.

On Tuesday, the Clinton campaign officially announced the concert would be held in Cleveland on Nov. 4, just four days before the election.

"Jay Z will be joined at the concert by special guests to encourage unity and urge Ohioans to support Clinton by voting early or on Election Day," the Clinton camp said in a statement.

Tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis from Friday.

The concert — perhaps the centerpiece of the “closing argument” strategy built to turn out this group — is a major coup for the Clinton campaign, which has struggled to excite young black voters. It's a key part of the coalition they need to build to defeat Trump in several battleground states, but especially Ohio where she has trailed more consistently than in most swing states. High turnout among younger voters of color would make it virtually impossible for Trump to win.

Senior Democrats, meanwhile, have signaled publicly that Clinton has indicated staff should do whatever it takes to turn out young black voters and the concert is viewed as one of the last major voter mobilization moves the campaign will make before election day.

In 2012, he performed a show along with Bruce Springsteen in Columbus for President Obama's reelect campaign, at which the president spoke. Jay Z himself has been particularly outspoken on police violence, an issue of importance to young voters going to the polls.

He's a validator on the issue, who's interpolated references to Trayvon Martin in a well-received freestyle, and more recently, after the killings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, released statement a song via his streaming service Tidal called “Spiritual.”

A Democratic source familiar with the concert said they wouldn't be surprised if Cleveland Cavaliers star Lebron James made an appearance after endorsing Clinton earlier this month.

Jay Z and Beyoncé long ago endorsed Clinton and chopped it up with Bill Clinton during the Philadelphia Music Festival on Labor Day weekend.

The Clinton campaign has a series of concerts in the works in the remaining weeks of the campaign aimed at turning out voters. The National, Ohio natives, will play in Cincinnati next month, and Jennifer Lopez, whose pop tune "Let's Get Loud" often plays at Clinton rallies, is doing a similar GOTV concert in Miami, Florida aimed at Latino voters on Oct. 29.

Adrian Carrasquillo is the White House correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.

Contact Adrian Carrasquillo at adrian.carrasquillo@buzzfeed.com.

Darren Sands is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Darren Sands at darren.sands@buzzfeed.com.

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