Prince’s estate is not happy with Donald Trump, and they are pulling out the receipts to back their disapproval.
During a campaign rally on Thursday, “Purple Rain” played throughout the Target Center in Minneapolis as President Trump walked off the stage.
The singer’s estate caught wind of the president’s use of the iconic song and immediately made their objection heard. Later that night they tweeted their condemnation of the use of the late singer’s music and even attached an old letter they had received from the campaign last year.
President Trump played Prince’s “Purple Rain” tonight at a campaign event in Minneapolis despite confirming a year ago that the campaign would not use Prince’s music. The Prince Estate will never give permission to President Trump to use Prince’s songs. pic.twitter.com/FuMUPzSWOe
— Prince (@prince) October 11, 2019
In 2018, the icon’s estate requested the president stop using Prince’s music at his events, as “Purple Rain” was added to the regular playlist for rallies. The campaign responded via letter from Megan Newton, a Washington-based attorney, stating that the “campaign will not use Prince’s music in connection with its activities going forward.”
The “When Doves Cry” singer is just one among a long list of musicians who have asked the president to stop using their music at events, including Rihanna, Neil Young, Elton John, Earth Wind & Fire, Pharrell and more.
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! https://t.co/dRgRi06GrJ
— Rihanna (@rihanna) November 5, 2018
Another unauthorized use (September) at the Republican Convention, against our wishes – Earth, Wind & Fire https://t.co/GV48JxcbGz
— Earth, Wind & Fire (@EarthWindFire) July 20, 2016
Politicians can use any song they want without asking permission from the artist due to copyright laws. As long as the venue has a public performance license through ASCAP or BMI — a songwriters’ associations. If an artist does want to stop a candidate from using their music, they do have the option to protect their “right of publicity.”
Prince was a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement and played a secret show for former President Barack Obama in 2015. His song was likely used on Thursday because Prince is a Minneapolis native.