Singer Sia, known for her obstructed appearance and quirky music videos, released an official video for her song “The Greatest,” and is inspired by the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando.


While the song itself is heavy in its tone and lyrics, the video adds so much more weight to its meaning. Forty-nine young dancers appear on screen dressed in rags, and at first appear lying on the floor of a jail cell. Sia’s talented young dancer Maddie Ziegler stars, and with rainbow colored tears, wakes the youth up, who flee from their cell in liberation.

Sia sings, “Running out of breath but I, oh I, I got stamina.” The children dance through the halls of a dilapidated home until they arrive in a large, dark room with many disco balls strewn about. They dance, each to their own beat, but somehow still as one mass, until they all fall at once. Behind them a wall riddled with bullet holes can be seen.

Though the lyrics and beat are very much in keeping with the rest of Sia’s ouvre, the song becomes very chilling when paired with the video. “I’m free to be the greatest / I’m alive” speaks of what could have become of the 49 lost that evening. This is what sets “The Greatest” apart from other songs written in the wake of the Orlando massacre – it is a work of art, rather than that of charity (though Sia’s team has not specified where proceeds will go).

The video begins and ends with the same image, that of Ziegler crying rainbow tears.

See the video below. 

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