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Billionaire L.A. Mayoral Candidate Taps Diplo for Election Eve Concert

Diplo will DJ an event sponsored by a billionaire’s campaign for mayor of Los Angeles. On Friday, the controversial musician will headline a show at Los Angeles’ El Rey Theatre, where Republican-turned-Democrat property developer Rick Caruso is set to speak ahead of the highly contested local election next Tuesday.

The concert is being marketed just as a “Get Out to Vote” event, though Caruso, a former Republican running as a Democrat, is the only mayoral candidate sponsoring the event, and the four other organizations listed as sponsors have endorsed him. Some L.A. voters even received text message invitations from Caruso’s campaign to attend the show. The venue also names Rick Caruso on its marquee.

The event — which also features Sofía Reyes and Kyen?Es? on the lineup — is being put on by Penske Media Corporation, the Los Angeles-based media company that owns Rolling Stone, Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, among other top-name news brands.

A rep for PMC declined Rolling Stone‘s request for comment, while Caruso’s campaign and Diplo’s rep did not respond to Rolling Stone’s requests for comment. 

The concert comes as a final push for Caruso’s campaign, which has reportedly spent more than $100 million to persuade L.A. voters to vote for him instead of Rep. Karen Bass, his opponent. The latest poll from the L.A. Times and UC Berkeley suggests that 45% of likely voters are pledging their support for Bass, while 41% see themselves supporting Caruso, and 13% are undecided. 

Caruso has been chipping away at Bass’s lead in recent months, with Caruso appealing to voters based on his history as a businessman rather than a career politician, and how that reflects his approach to handling the economy and the city’s homelessness crisis. 

However, Caruso has been criticized for his role as Chairman of the Board of Trustees at USC when gynecologist George Tyndall was allowed to quietly leave the university after facing dozens of accusations of sexual misconduct. An L.A. Times report in October found that investigators questioned Caruso in 2020 about what the university knew about Tyndall, and that Caruso “refused to answer many questions, on the advice of USC’s legal team.”

Meanwhile, Diplo faced a police investigation in 2019 after a woman accused him of recording sexually explicit videos of her without her permission and knowingly infecting her with chlamydia, according to a BuzzFeed News report. The case was later dismissed.

Both Caruso and Bass have garnered celebrity endorsements as election day nears. Katy Perry, Kim Kardashian, Snoop Dogg, Gwenyth Paltrow, and Elon Musk have all voiced their support for Caruso. Meanwhile Bass has gotten endorsements from Ariana Grande, John Legend, Donald Glover, Steven Spielberg, and Tracee Ellis Ross.

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