Rock band Queen is seeking to block Donald Trump from using “We Will Rock You” in his campaign ad. That closely follows a complaint from the Prince Estate.
A video shared by the president on Twitter featured ‘We Will Rock You’ set to a montage from his rallies. The 1977 hit plays for the full two-minutes. Reps for the band have stated they do not agree to the use of the song; the band’s music publishers eventually had the clip removed.
A representative also confirmed the band “has already entered into a process to call for non-use of Queen song copyrights by the Trump campaign.”
That’s not the first time Donald Trump has faced opposition from artists — even this week.
The president held a rally last night in Minneapolis, where he played Prince’s “Purple Rain.” The Prince Estate soon learned of the usage and shared a letter they sent over a year ago. The letter revealed that the Trump campaign agreed not to use Prince’s music going forward.
Trump has been critical of artists who seek to prevent him from playing their music. At last night’s rally in Minnesota, Trump sharply criticized Beyoncé, Jay-Z, and even Bruce Springsteen.
“I didn’t need Beyoncé and Jay-Z, I didn’t need little Bruce Springsteen.”
Rihanna, Pharrell Williams, Aerosmith, and others have all butted heads with Trump, as well. But this is a big problem for artists, thanks to compulsory performance rights law in the U.S. — generally, as long as candidates pay for the rights, they can use whatever music they like.
Prince’s Estate may have a different leg to stand on legally, however. The secured written agreement says “going forward” the campaign will not use Prince’s music. Aerosmith took it so far as to issue a cease-and-desist to the campaign.
This isn’t the first time Queen has opposed Trump using their music, either. Back in July 2016, the band asked him to stop playing “We Are The Champions” at the RNC. Brian May said he would not have granted permission, even if Trump asked.