US President Donald Trump has a long record of leaving musicians miffed by using their songs at his rallies.
The Rolling Stones
“You can’t always get what you want”, an enduring rock anthem by the Rolling Stones was a popular choice at many of Donald Trump’s events.
It was played again at the close of Trump’s recent rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma – an indoor event criticised for its potential to spread coronavirus.
This prompted the English rock band to issue a statement in which they have said that their legal team is working with BMI, a music rights organisation, to stop use of their material in Trump’s reelection campaign. “If Donald Trump disregards the exclusion and persists, then he would face a lawsuit for breaking the embargo and playing music that has not been licensed”, the statement reads.
The legendary band had also objected to this during his 2016 campaign, accusing him of using their music to fire up his conservative base at rallies.
The family of the late Tom Petty also filed a cease and desist notice to the Trump campaign. Petty’s 1989 hit “I won’t back down” was played at the rally in Tulsa.
In 2018, Grammy award-winning musician Neil Young lashed out at Trump after hearing one of his songs played against his wishes during Trump’s pre-midterm campaign rallies.
The Canadian-born musician admonished Trump for using his 1990 single, “Rockin’ in the free world,” in spite of earlier warnings.
In 2018, Rihanna discovered her music was being played during one of his rallies via twitter. She quickly put an end to it, writing “me nor my people would ever be at or around one of those tragic rallies, so thanks for the heads up.”
While running for president, Trump used Elton John’s songs “Rocket man” and “Tiny dancer” as warm-up music to his campaign rallies. But the iconic British singer made it clear that he didn’t want his music involved in American politics, going on to say, “I’m not a Republican in a million years.”
In 2016, upon finding out that Trump was playing her music at his events, Adele’s spokesperson announced that she had not given him permission to use her music. The singer went on to endorse Hillary Clinton during a concert.