Neil Young to play at Bernie Sanders digital rally

New York (AFP) –


Rocker Neil Young will get onstage for presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders on Monday, at a rally that will be streamed, with the United States mostly shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic and large gatherings banned.

The campaign announced ahead of Tuesday's presidential primaries that Young, a newly minted American citizen, and his spouse Daryl Hannah will stump for Sanders at a digital rally also featuring Jim James, frontman of the rock band My Morning Jacket, and the retro-soul group the Free Nationals.

Sanders, 78, will again face off against Joe Biden, 77, as four large states pick their favorite for the Democratic nomination, in a contest overshadowed by an outbreak that has prevented both candidates from campaigning before large crowds.

Sanders, who has relied on rallies to whip up support among his base, has seen his campaigning severely curtailed but the crisis has also given him a platform to tout his plan for a government-run universal health care system.

The Vermont senator's core support also skews much younger than Biden's, helping his chances that voters will tune in online for the rally.

Biden is comfortably ahead in the race to challenge President Donald Trump in November's general election, backed by almost all of his former rivals who made it to the latter stages of the primary contest.

But Sanders has scooped endorsements from across the entertainment industry -- including rappers Cardi B and Chuck D along with alt acts Bon Iver, Vampire Weekend and The Strokes

"The Free Nationals are stoked to be performing at Monday's digital rally for Senator Sanders' bid for president,' said Kelsey Gonzalez of the group in a Sanders campaign statement.

"His progressive positions on universal health care, immigration and education make him the clear choice for us in the primaries."

Long outspoken on politics, Young, 74, officially endorsed Sanders on his website earlier this month, saying "every point he makes is what I believe in."

"I believe Bernie Sanders. I think Bernie Sanders is the real deal."