On June 12, 2016, a heartless man, killed 49 people and wounded 53 others in a terrorist attack/hate crime inside Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, United States.
He was shot and killed by Orlando Police Department (OPD) officers after a three-hour standoff. Pulse was hosting Latin Night and most of the victims were Latino.
It was the deadliest mass shooting by a single shooter, the deadliest incident of violence against LGBT people in United States history, and the deadliest terrorist attack in the United States since the September 11 attacks in 2001.
“The Greatest” is a song by Sia featuring Kendrick Lamar
The single was released on 6 September 2016 through Monkey Puzzle Records and RCA Records as the lead single from her upcoming eighth studio album, We Are Your Children. The song was written by Sia alongside Greg Kurstin, who produced the song with AJ Santos also known as Yektro.
The video for the single features dancer Maddie Ziegler, and was directed by Daniel Askill for Radical Media.
Jessica Goodman from Entertainment Weekly found the chorus “massive and catchy.” Once the critics had picked up on the song’s connection with the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting, Spencer Kornhaber of The Atlantic wrote:
Making pop about a specific tragedy is necessarily a tricky job. So it’s no crime that some of the other mainstream original songs memorializing Orlando have been as rote as issue-oriented singles are often stereotyped as being. But “The Greatest” is very potent, a work of art, not charity.There’s no break here from the rest of Sia’s catalogue about pain and release in everyday life: You hear a sad voice wailing about bucking up, very stark emotional peaks and valleys, and a danceable backing of explosive drums, toy-box melodies, and reggae grooves.
Sia and Greg Kurstin may have written the song even before the massacre. But in the context of Orlando, the possible platitude of the chorus becomes gutting:
“I’m free to be the greatest/I’m alive.”
She’s pepping the listener up, but she’s also defining the value of life, marking the human potential that’s been lost.