music / News

Rihanna, Guns N’ Roses Decry Their Music Being Used at Donald Trump Rallies

November 4, 2018 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas

Rihanna and Guns N’ Roses — specifically Axl Rose — have taken to Twitter to denounce the use of their music at Donald Trump’s rallies. Both artists took to social media to comment on Trump using their music, which was played at rallies over the weekend per Pitchfork.

Rihanna noted in a retweet of a post by The Washington Post’s Philip Rucker about “Don’t Stop the Music” being played at Trump’s rally for Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn, “Not for much longer…me nor my people would ever be at or around one of those tragic rallies.”

Meanwhile, Rose said that the band have “formally requested” that their music not be played at Trump’s events, but said that the campaign is “using loopholes in the various venues’ blanket performance licenses which were not intended for such craven political purposes, without the songwriters’ consent.”

Blanket performance licenses are obtained via ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers), BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.) and SESAC (Society of European Stage Authors and Composers), the primary organizations in charge of licensing music. By obtaining these blanket licenses from the three groups, venues are allowed to perform or play all of the music in the organizations’ catalogs at the venue by any artist. This is how many political campaigns get around the legalities of artists not wanting to license their music to particular individuals, for fear of appearing like they are endorsing those candidates by allowing their music to be played.