sia and maddie ziegler's latest video is an evocative tribute to orlando victims

Kendrick Lamar also hops on an alternate audio version of The Greatest.

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07 September 2016, 8:19am

Sia's music videos are often more than just music videos, and the camera-shy Australian artist's latest might be her most powerful piece of performance art yet. Early today Sia dropped a new track called The Greatest, featuring a verse from Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar and an evocative, emotional video starring her repeat tweenage collaborator Maddie Ziegler. The video opens to a black screen with the hashtag #WeAreYourChildren, before showing the magnetic dance sensation covered in dust and smearing rainbow paint down her cheeks. She rouses a pile of lifeless dancers and leads them into a big room lit by pink and green club lights. The dancers — 49 of them — let loose before collapsing on the ground to expose a wall pierced with bullet holes.

Sia has not explicitly stated that The Greatest is a tribute to the 49 victims of the horrific shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. But one of her dancers posted a screengrab of the video to Instagram with a rainbow emoji and the caption, "49 beautiful lives lost. This is for you." Sia — who has dated women and identifies as queer — has routinely shown solidarity with the LGBTQ community. In 2013, she donated the money she earned from her Eminem collaboration Beautiful People to the LA Gay & Lesbian Centre following controversy over the rapper's lyrics. She has also performed at events for the Los Angeles LGBT Centre and the Democratic National Committee's LGBT Gala. 

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Text Hannah Ongley
Image via YouTube