The big Apple product reveal in San Francisco has come to an end, but not without a showstopping musical outro: Maddie Ziegler teamed up with Sia at Apple's event, turning in a performance that had a powerful message behind it. Tim Cook introduced the video and performance by Sia, but he didn't name-drop Ziegler's involvement, leaving that as a fun little surprise. And given Apple's openly pro-LGBT corporate culture ― CEO Tim Cook is openly and proudly gay, and the company has been involved in Pride events in the past ― it was exciting to see the performance send a touching message.
Namely, Ziegler and Sia performed their recent collaborative effort "The Greatest," which was conceived as a tribute to the victims of the fatal mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando in June. The attack was a devastating moment for LGBT communities across America and all around the world, and a reminder that violent anti-gay hatred remains a worrisome force in modern life. And while Ziegler didn't sport the rainbow-streaked face she did in the video, it was still a powerful moment of recognition and respect.
If you haven't yet seen the music video in full, you should definitely give it a look, because it's an incredibly evocative piece of musical and visual art. Of course, it is related both thematically and visually to a very grisly act of anti-LGBT violence, so if you're uniquely sensitive to those themes, maybe you won't want to watch. But make no mistake, this is an affirmative, uplifting work.
The performance capped off a headline-grabbing event for Apple, in ways both positively and negatively received ― on the one hand, the massive storage space upgrades on the new iPhone 7s thrilled a lot of people, as did the new dual cameras, and reports of improved battery life. The decision to strip the traditional headphone jack in favor of a new bluetooth headphones model stirred up a lot of discord on social media, especially because Apple's new AirPods are completely untethered from each other, very tiny (and thus ostensibly easy to lose), and very expensive, starting at $159 a pair.
If you're an Apple super fan, you'll want to watch a replay of the event and see everything you missed. Just make sure you don't click away before it's over, because Sia and Maddie Ziegler's performance is well worth your time.