Out Music: Billy Porter Covers Classic Protest Song ‘For What It’s Worth’

Billy Porter (photo: Santiago Felipe)

Grammy/Emmy/Tony Award winner Billy Porter releases his latest single, a cover of Stephen Stills’ Buffalo Springfield classic, “For What It’s Worth.”

“I decided to record ‘For What It’s Worth’ because I wanted to have my art and my music matter, make a difference,” Porter said in a statement. “I’ve always been a political person. I come from the generation where the music reflected what was going on in the world, in the day. The song was written and performed sort of during the Civil Rights Era, the Vietnam War, it was protest music and I wanted to have a hand in bringing that back and speaking truth directly to power.”

Porter has re-imagined the folk-rock classic adding a soulful spin that rocks out as much as it “grooves out.” Porter’s innovative take finds him laying down multiple vocal parts that build to an uplifting crescendo that takes the iconic tune into new territory.

“I am both proud and delighted that Billy Porter is covering my song: ‘For What It’s Worth,”’ said Stephen Stills. “For many years no one tried to ‘make it theirs’ as covers are supposed to do. That an artist of Billy’s caliber has chosen to add his flourish to my song from so many years ago is totally in keeping with what I intended.”

“One of the heartening things that I’ve seen during the Coronavirus outbreak is how we’ve all banded together. Everyone doing their part, checking on each other, using technology to connect with one another,” said Porter. “I think the messages in ‘For What It’s Worth’ are so relevant now. It’s a song about unifying and coming together to make a change.”

And speaking of change, Porter is also keeping an eye on November when U.S. citizens will be voting for a new president.

“While we’re all stuck at home, now is a great time to make sure you’re registered to vote,” he said. “The election is comin,’ y’all. Let’s get ready and stay ready.”

Register to Vote!  https://linktr.ee/TheeBillyPorter

“For What It’s Worth” is the follow-up to Porter’s recent single, “Love Yourself,” which hit #1 on the Billboard Club Play Songs Chart in summer of 2019 and was timed to World Pride/Stonewall50.

The video for “Love Yourself” was a celebrity lip-sync extravaganza featuring cameos by Porter’s Pose co-stars along with Cyndi Lauper, Kelly Ripa, Debra Messing, Lin Manuel Miranda, and designer Christian Siriano, among many others.

Billy Porter covers iconic protest song, “For What It’s Worth”