Several artists have spoken out about Donald Trump playing their music at his hate rallies. The long list includes Adele, Neil Young, the Rolling Stones, Queen, REM and Pharrell Williams. Even Prince’s estate released a statement when Trump played “Purple Rain” at a rally in Mississippi, saying, “The Prince Estate has never given permission to President Trump or The White House to use Prince’s songs and have requested that they cease all use immediately.”
Now Rihanna is speaking out.
At a Trump rally in Tennessee, her song “Don’t Stop The Music” was playing. Washington Post reporter Philip Rucker wrote on Twitter, “It’s been said a million times, but here’s a million and one — Trump’s rallies are unlike anything else in politics. Currently, Rihanna’s “Don’t Stop the Music” is blaring in Chattanooga as aides toss free Trump T-shirts into the crowd, like a ball game. Everyone’s loving it.”
Rihanna was not happy and wrote, “Not for much longer…me nor my people would ever be at or around one of those tragic rallies, so thanks for the heads up philip!”
However, The Washington Post reported that Rihanna may not have any control over it. As Axl Rose from the band Guns N’ Roses said, the Trump team is using “loopholes”to play songs from artists who have not given him permission to use their music.
The Washington Post explained, “ASCAP warns politicians that even if a campaign has obtained a license to use a song, they should still get the artist’s permission. According to the ASCAP’s guidelines, disgruntled artists could file suit under the Lanham Act, which is intended to prevent the dilution of a brand’s trademark through unauthorized use or under “right of publicity” laws which provides image protection for well-known artists in some states.” However, filing a lawsuit would be a lengthy and expensive process that may not be worth it.
Therefore, as The Washington Post details, Trump uses the loophole of, “Most of the typical venues for campaign events, such as arenas and convention centers, will already have a blanket license from a performance rights organization in place.”
Sounds like Trump. He find loopholes from everything to his taxes to playing music from artists at his hate rallies.