Listeners may be surprised by the voice at the beginning of Madonna’s newly released single "I Rise."
The guttural voice saturated with the sound of suppressed tears and raw emotion does not belong to the 60-year-old pop icon, but rather to 19-year-old Emma Gonzalez, an icon in her own right.
“Us kids don't know what we're talking about,” Gonzalez screams. “That we're too young to understand how the government works. We call B.S.”
After surviving a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida that left 17 people dead in 2018, Gonzalez became a vocal advocate for stricter gun laws in the United States. Gonzalez has since supported pro-gun control movements like March For Our Lives.
Gonzalez’s comments in “I Rise” were taken from her Feb. 17, 2018, speech at a gun control rally in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. At the rally, which occurred just four days after the Parkland shooting, she and other survivors demanded stricter gun control laws.
Madonna channels Gonzalez’s energy when she sings “Not bulletproof, shouldn't have to run from a gun.”
The “Like a Virgin” singer makes her political message and Gonzalez’s inspiration on the song even clearer when she sings that she “managed to survive” and Gonzalez’s chant of “B.S.” repeats.
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“I Rise” is a single from Madonna’s new album, “Madame X.”
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