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'.

by Hannah Ongley
06 September 2016, 10:55pm

Sia's music videos are way 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 Center following controversy over the rapper's lyrics. She has also performed at events for the Los Angeles LGBT Center and the Democratic National Committee's LGBT Gala. 


Text Hannah Ongley
Image via YouTube

Kendrick Lamar
Maddie Ziegler
The Greatest