Trump to Face Legal Action for Using Rolling Stones Songs

Published June 29th, 2020 - 07:33 GMT
Donald Trump speaks at Edison New Jersey Hindu Indian-American rally for "Humanity United Against Terror". (Shutterstock/ File Photo)
Donald Trump speaks at Edison New Jersey Hindu Indian-American rally for "Humanity United Against Terror". (Shutterstock/ File Photo)
Highlights
The Rolling Stones’ 1969 classic “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” is a popular song played at US President Trump's events and was last played at the close of his recent rally in Tulsa.

The Rolling Stones are threatening President Donald Trump with legal action for using their songs at his rallies despite cease-and-desist directives.

The Stones said in a statement on Sunday that their legal team is working with music rights organisation BMI to stop the use of their material in Trump's reelection campaign.

“The BMI have notified the Trump campaign on behalf of the Stones that the unauthorized use of their songs will constitute a breach of its licensing agreement,’’ the Stones said. “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 Stones had complained during Trump's 2016 campaign about the use of their music to fire up his conservative base at rallies.

The Rolling Stones’ 1969 classic “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” was a popular song for his 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.

Other artists cry foul

The Stones are not the first major act to call on the president to stop using their songs.

The family of the late rock musician Tom Petty said that they had issued a cease-and-desist order after Trump used the song “I Won't Back Down'' in Tulsa.


“Trump was in no way authorised to use this song to further a campaign that leaves too many Americans and common sense behind,'' the statement said. “Both the late Tom Petty and his family firmly stand against racism and discrimination of any kind. Tom Petty would never want a song of his to be used in a campaign of hate. He liked to bring people together.''

Grammy Award-winning musician Neil Young lashed out at Trump in 2018 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.

Queen complained when Trump walked on stage to their anthem "We Are The Champions" during a Republican Party event in Cleveland, Ohio, in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

Pharrell Williams, Rihanna, Aerosmith, Adele, and the estate of singer Prince have all hit out after the use of songs by Trump.

And singer Betty Buckley also recently urged composer Andrew Lloyd Webber to stop the president using "Memory" at his campaign rallies.

Buckley sang the song in the original Broadway production of "Cats" in the early 1980s.

"You Can't Always Get What You Want" was a track first heard 51 years ago, on the 1969 album "Let It Bleed."

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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