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27 Musicians Who Demanded Trump Stop Using Their Music 

adele on the red carpet in a black dress. musicians who demanded trump stop using their music
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What is there to say about Donald Trump, the 45th president of the United States, that hasn’t been said? Love him or hate him – there appears to be no in-between – he tends to live rent-free in many people’s heads. 

Every politician uses music at their rallies, but when The Don does it, artists tend to come out of the woodwork and cause a ruckus. Discover 27 musicians who demanded Trump stop using their music in this article. 

27 Musicians Who Demanded Trump Stop Using Their Music

1. Adele

adele on the red carpet in a black dress. musicians who demanded trump stop using their music
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Iconic multi-grammy winner Adele is first on our list of musicians who demanded Trump stop using their music. She requested that the Orange Man not use her songs after “Rolling in the Deep” and “Skyfall” were played during campaign rallies in 2016.

Adele later endorsed his 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Related: 20 Best Adele Songs

2. Rihanna

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Rihanna, one of the decade’s most prominent and recognizable artists, is next on our list of musicians who demanded Trump stop using their music. She threatened legal action against the former president for using her song “Don’t Stop The Music.” 

3. Village People

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The Village People also demanded Trump stop using their music. Frontman Victor Willis demanded that Trump stop using any of his music at his rallies. However, despite a cease and desist order, he continued using their songs, including “Y.M.C.A.” This led Scorpio Music to take legal action against him.

Related: 20 Best Disco Songs

4. The Rolling Stones

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The Village People and Rihanna aren’t the only ones who threatened to take legal action against Trump. Rolling Stones members Mick Jagger and Keith Richards also opposed the use of their song “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by Trump during his 2016 campaign. Their strong objection led to the band sending cease and desist letters to the campaign.

To the band’s dismay, Trump once again used the song in 2020. In response, the Rolling Stones joined forces with Broadcast Music, Inc. to issue a stern warning of legal action should the song be used without permission.

Related: 34 Best Rolling Stones Songs

5. Tom Petty

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Tom Petty (or at least his estate) is another popular figure in our list of musicians who demanded Trump stop using their music. During Trump’s 2020 political rallies, Tom Petty’s family barred Trump from using the song “I Won’t Back Down.” 

The family sent a cease and desist letter, stating that the song is only suitable for underdogs and the “common man,” a sentiment they believe Trump does not embody.

Related: How Did Tom Petty Die?

6. Aerosmith

bands that still tour but should have hung it up the band aerosmith performing on stage in front of a crowd
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Steven Tyler of Aerosmith also sent not just one but two cease and desist letters to Trump’s campaign. The first occurred during his 2015 political rally with the song “Dream On,” and the second one in 2018, this time with the song “Living on the Edge.”

Related: 30 Best 70s Songs

7. The Beatles

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Legendary rock band the Beatles also stopped Trump’s use of Beatles songs after George Harrison’s song “Here Comes the Sun” was played to introduce Ivanka Trump during the 2016 Republican National Convention. 

Related: Best Early Beatles Songs

8. Bruce Springsteen

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Bruce Springsteen had an intelligent way to deal with Trump when he used the song “Born in the U.S.A.” Unlike other artists who resorted to legal action, he openly announced and actively campaigned for his support of his opponent, Hillary Clinton. As a result, whenever Trump played the song at his rallies, it would elicit a chorus of boos.

Related: 17 Best Bruce Springsteen Songs

9. Creedence Clearwater Revival

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Another one of the musicians who demanded Trump stop using their music at his rallies is Creedence Clearwater Revival. Upon Trump’s use of the band’s song “Fortunate Son,” John Fogerty, the frontman of the band, sent a cease and desist letter to him, noting that Trump was conveying a message that the band does not endorse or support. 

Fogerty later openly endorsed and actively campaigned for Trump’s 2020 challenger, Joe Biden.

Related: 37 Famous Musicians Who Hate Trump

10. Eddy Grant

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The illustrious Eddy Grant had a legal battle with Trump over the use of his song “Electric Avenue.” The former president used it in a political video he tweeted. Though Trump eventually removed the video, Eddy Grant still filed a lawsuit and a cease and desist order.

Related: 50 Celebrities Who Hate Donald Trump

11. Elton John

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Yet another one of many musicians who demanded Trump stop using their music at his rallies is the eccentric Elton John. The British singer opposed the use of “Rocket Man” and “Tiny Dancer.”

12. Everlast

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House of Pain rapper Everlast also denied Trump from using his song “Jump Around” during his campaign rallies. The rapper quickly issued a cease and desist order and denied his affiliation with the former president by launching a profanity-laced tirade against him.

Related: 21 Best Rap Songs

13. Guns N’ Roses

most hated famous bands of all time axl rose and slash from the band guns n roses on stage performing
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Axl Rose, leader of Guns N’ Roses, also opposed Trump’s use of their cover song “Live and Let Die.” The song was used during the COVID-19 pandemic in a meatpacking plant where Trump refused to take any safety precautions. 

As a response, Rose created merchandise with the phrase “Live N’ Let Die With COVID 45” and pledged that all proceeds from its sales would be donated to the MusiCares charity.

14. Isaac Hayes

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The family of Isaac Hayes did not take Trump’s use of the Sam & Dave song, “Hold On, I’m Comin,” at a National Rifle Convention lightly. The song’s co-writer, David Porter, used Twitter to explicitly reject any connections or endorsements of the former president.

“Someone shared with me Donald Trump used the song ‘Hold On I’m Coming’ for a speaking appearance of his. Hell to the No! I did not and would NOT approve of them using the song for any of his purposes! I also know Isaac’s estate wouldn’t approve as well! #Memphis #Music #Grammy” David Porter wrote.

Related: 24 Musicians Who Went Bankrupt

15. Leonard Cohen

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The estate of Leonard Cohen also makes our list of musicians who demanded Trump stop using their music. They issued a statement criticizing the unauthorized use of the song “Hallelujah” at the Republican National Convention, saying that they rejected the permission for its use.

Related: 34 Best Music Documentaries

16. Linkin Park

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Linkin Park has consistently been known for opposing the evidently Thanos-esque character that is Donald Trump. Their late lead singer, Chester Bennington, even called Trump a “greater threat to the U.S.A. than terrorism.” 

So when a fan-made re-election campaign video ad of Trump with a cover of Linkin Park’s “In the End,” the band quickly shut it down with a cease and desist order, along with a statement that the band did not endorse Trump.

Related: How Did Chester Bennington Die?

17. Luciano Pavarotti

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Luciano Pavarotti’s family has also denied Trump from using the song “Nessun Dorma” at his rallies. The singer’s widow and three daughters objected, stating that Trump’s view on immigrants did not align with Pavarotti’s efforts as United Nations Messenger of Peace. 

The Italian operatic tenor had raised a large amount to support immigrants and refugees, a cause they believed was not reflected in Trump’s views.

Related: 25 Greatest Composers

18. Neil Young

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The ever-exceptional Neil Young is also one of many musicians who demanded Trump stop using their music at his rallies. The singer has said numerous times since 2015 that he disapproves of using his song “Rockin’ in the Free World” at Trump rallies. 

Interestingly, only a year before, Young took this smiling picture with Trump. Lest we forget, Trump was also pals with the Clintons and many Democrats before he ran for president. Odd, isn’t it?

Related: 40 Best Rock Songs

19. Nickelback

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Nickelback has also protested against the use of the song “Photograph.” Trump tweeted a version of the song and music video on Twitter, and soon after, Warner Music Group issued a copyright claim, leading to the video being taken down. 

The kerfuffle went well for Nickelback, as the sales of the real version of the song jumped over 500% in the days after it was taken down.

Related: 28 Most Hated Famous Bands

20. Nico Vega 

a woman performing on stage singer
No licensable image available. Image from Shutterstock.

Nico Vega also lands a spot on our list of musicians who demanded Trump stop using their music. 

In 2020, Donald Trump posted a video titled “Fight for Trump,” which included the use of his song “Beast.” The singer quickly shut down all allegations of affiliation with the Orange Man, stating that he does not endorse Trump’s campaign.

Related: 15 Best Female Singers

21. Panic! At the Disco

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Brendon Urie of Panic! At the Disco also railed against Trump’s use of his song “High Hopes” at the 45th president’s political rallies in 2020. The singer released a statement denying the band’s support for what Trump stands for and expressing their strong disapproval of him. 

Related: Did Panic at the Disco Steal These Songs?

22. Pharell Williams

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Grammy-winner Pharell Williams also threatened legal action after Trump played his song “Happy” at his political rallies. Williams’ legal team has asserted that Trump used it without permission, constituting copyright and trademark infringement.

Related: Pharell’s Net Worth

23. Phil Collins

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Superstar Phil Collins also sent a cease and desist order after Trump’s unauthorized use of “In the Air Tonight” at a rally in Des Moines, Iowa.

Related: Best Phil Collins Songs

24. Prince

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MIAMI – FEB 4: Prince performs during half-time for Super Bowl XLI between the Chicago Bears and the Indianapolis Colts at Dolphin Stadium on February 4, 2007 in Miami. Image from Shutterstock.

The estate of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Prince also condemned Trump after using Prince‘s song “Purple Rain” at a rally in 2019. The estate provided official documentation as evidence, revealing that Trump’s campaign had no rights to play any of Prince‘s music.

Related: How Did Prince Die?

25. Queen

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Brian May of Queen also took a stand against Trump when the former president used “We Are The Champions” at the Republican National Convention in 2016. The singer openly denounced the use of the song, emphasizing that Trump had neither sought nor received any permission to use it.

Related: How Did Freddie Mercury Die?

26. R.E.M.

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Just like others on the list, R.E.M. has vocally opposed the unauthorized use of their music by Trump on multiple occasions. The former president used “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine),” “Everybody Hurts,” and “Losing My Religion” without permission, leading the musicians to issue threats of legal action against him.

Related: 15 Best 90s Songs

27. The White Stripes

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Last on our long list of musicians who demanded Trump stop using their music is Jack White‘s White Stripes. Following Trump’s political ad campaign using “Seven Nation Army,” the band issued a statement that they did not give permission for Trump to use their music, nor did they support his presidency. 

Furthermore, their record label, Third Man Records, requested that Trump refrain from using any of the White Stripes’ recordings at his rallies.

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Written by Angelo Ruelan


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