Phil Collins Wants Trump To Stop Playing His Song

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Phil Collins wants the Trump campaign to stop playing his 1981 hit “In the Air Tonight” at his rallies.

Lawyers for the singer have sent a second cease and desist warning after the song was used at an Oct. 14 rally to make light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“That use was not only wholly unauthorized but … particularly inappropriate since it was apparently intended as a satirical reference to COVID-19,” read a letter, dated Oct. 23, from Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP.

“Mr. Collins does not condone the apparent trivialization of COVID-19.”

Collins’ lawyers first told the Trump campaign in June to stop using the song at rallies because it reflects badly on the singer, who does not support the U.S. president.

“Under the circumstances, we renew our demand for immediate assurances that the Trump campaign will permanently cease and desist from any further use of Mr. Collins’ name, performance and music at any future rallies or otherwise,” reads the letter.

Legally, the Trump campaign does not need permission from individual artists to play their songs. It purchases licensing packages from performers’ rights organizations like BMI and ASCAP. (The law does provide for artists to protect themselves from false endorsements.)

BMI told the Trump campaign to stop playing “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” because The Rolling Stones are not part of a licensing package.

Panic! At The Disco, Pharrell Williams and the estates of Tom Petty, Prince and Canada’s Leonard Cohen have also objected to the use of their music. Canada’s Neil Young filed a lawsuit against the campaign over its use of his “Rockin’ in the Free World.” When Rihanna found out "Don't Stop the Music" was played at a Trump rally, she demanded the campaign stop the music. "Me nor my people would ever be at or around one of those tragic rallies," she tweeted.

Lawyers for John Fogerty issued a cease and desist order after the U.S. president’s campaign used the 1969 song “Fortunate Son” at a rally. “He is using my words and my voice to portray a message that I do not endorse,” tweeted Fogerty, who previously noted the song is a condemnation of the privileged children of rich men who did not serve in the Vietnam War.

Trump has also pumped up his MAGA crowds by playing the Village People’s “Y.M.C.A.” – a disco song written in Canada about young men hooking up with other men at the Y.

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