WASHINGTON (WASHINGTON POST) – Rihanna has made it official. The singer, who tweeted on Sunday that she didn’t want her music associated with US President Donald Trump’s “tragic rallies”, has had her people deliver a cease-and-desist letter to Trump HQ.
“As you are or should be aware, Ms Fenty has not provided her consent to Mr Trump to use her music. Such use is therefore improper,” stated the letter from the Bad Girl singer’s legal team to White House counsel, according to Rolling Stone magazine.
The pop star and makeup guru first learned that her recordings, specifically her 2007 hit Don’t Stop The Music, were playing at a Trump rally in Tennessee from The Washington Post’s Philip Rucker.
Rucker, who was on the ground on Sunday, tweeted about the scene: “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 saw that tweet and replied: “Not for much longer.”
Don’t Stop The Music, per Rucker’s previous dispatch from the road, was also played at a rally in Columbia, Missouri, last Thursday. At an airport hangar, Trump disembarked Air Force One as thousands of supporters looked on and the bumping beat of Rihanna’s dance hit boomed in the background.
“Trump’s unauthorised use of Ms Fenty’s music… creates a false impression that Ms. Fenty is affiliated with, connected to or otherwise associated with Trump,” the letter continued.
Rihanna, who is a native of Barbados, is not registered to vote in the United States, but has nonetheless made her displeasure with Trump known. She joined protesters outside Trump Tower in New York in January 2017 and has called the President an “immoral pig” for his immigration policies.
The singer joins a long list of big-name entertainers who would prefer that Trump stop blasting their hits at his rallies.
Pharrell Williams also sent a cease-and-desist letter to Trump to stop using his 2013 hit Happy; Prince’s estate wants the President to stop playing Purple Rain; Guns N’ Roses doesn’t want him playing Sweet Child Of Mine; and the Rolling Stones would like him to nix their hit You Can’t Always Get What You Want.
Because few artists take a lawsuit against the unauthorised use of their music all the way to court, the President and other deejaying politicians will most likely continue to play music they don’t have permission to use at rallies and campaign events. But it has become somewhat de rigueur for popular entertainers to officially make their displeasure known, especially to their fans.
The White House could not be reached for comment.
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