Sia Debuts ‘The Greatest’ Feat. Kendrick Lamar in New Maddie Ziegler Video
After a summer that saw Sia landing her first Hot 100 No. 1 with "Cheap Thrills" (originally written for Rihanna), the queen of anthems has returned with "The Greatest." The accompanying video, directed by Sia alongside Daniel Askill, stars the pop star's muse/stand-in Maddie Ziegler as a sprite who moves her fellow mud-masked friends to dance in apparent captivity.
Several of the video's visual cues suggest that it's a tribute to the victims of the Orlando Pulse nightclub massacre, including Ziegler's rainbow face paint and the number of dancers that appear: 49, the same number of lives lost in the June 2016 mass shooting. It would also explain why Ziegler looks so sorrowful at the video's end. Further, the single's teaser clips ran with the hashtag #WeAreYourChildren, which, as Instagram account lgbt_history points out, was a '70s-era LGBT slogan that arose in response to anti-gay activist Anita Bryan's "Save Our Children" campaign.
"The Greatest," like "Cheap Thrills" and current hits from Drake, Rihanna, Justin Bieber and Major Lazer, carries on the island lite sound that's dominated the singles charts this year — but Ms. Furler's ever-deft songwriting chops imbue the song with a joy that elevates it above a mere formula. The full version also boasts a guest verse from Kendrick Lamar not included in the video, which is available on iTunes now.
With lyrics like "Uh-oh, running now, I close my eyes / Well, oh, I got stamina / And uh-oh, I see another mountain to climb," expect "The Greatest" to also be a gym class staple in coming months. Try to copy Maddie Ziegler's moves (and facial expressions) to make that workout extra fun.
Watch "The Greatest" video, featuring choreography from "Chandelier" and "Elastic Heart" collaborator Ryan Heffington, below.
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