Usher, Sheryl Crow and Cyndi Lauper Join Musicians Telling Politicians: Stop Using Our Songs
Hardly any election cycle is without a politician coming under fire for the unauthorized use of music from a band or artist at campaign events, and the 2016 White House race is no different.
On Sunday's Last Week Tonight, John Oliver assembled a slew of musicians, including Sheryl Crow, Heart, Michael Bolton, Usher, Cyndi Lauper, and others to sing a ballad called "Don’t Use Our Song."
"This happens every single election, and it is time for musicians to come together and take a stand," Oliver said.
In the video, Usher said: “Don’t use our song – that is licensing, you gotta call our publisher – okay?!”
Ann Wilson of Heart sang: “You always take our music outta context anyway.”
The video comes in the wake of The Rolling Stones, George Harrison's estate and Queen telling Donald Trump and the Republican Party to stop using their music after it was heard at the RNC.
Trump walked on stage Monday to Queen’s “We Are the Champions.” On the following day, the official Queen Twitter account tweeted that the use of the song was “unauthorized.”
An unauthorised use at the Republican Convention against our wishes - Queen— Queen (@QueenWillRock) July 19, 2016
During the RNC, The Beatles’ classic “Here Comes the Sun” was played, sparking the ire of late Fab Four member George Harrison's estate, which tweeted:
If it had been Beware of Darkness, then we MAY have approved it! #TrumpYourself— George Harrison (@GeorgeHarrison) July 22, 2016
Earlier this year, The Rolling Stones asked for Trump to stop using “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” at rallies, yet, after the GOP candidate’s speech on Thursday, the song was played again.
On Friday, the band took to Twitter to release a statement: "The Rolling Stones do not endorse Donald Trump. You Can’t Always Get What You Want was used without the band’s permission."
The tweet, surprisingly, has since been deleted.
Prior to introducing the music video on HBO’s Last Week Tonight, Oliver cited other times politicians have used songs without the approval of artists.
His examples included Cyndi Lauper slamming the DNC after they used her song “True Colors” at the 2012 convention.
Most famously, in the 80s when President Ronald Reagan used Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA,” The Boss asked the Republican presidential candidate to stop using the song because despite its thunderous riffs, it wasn’t written as a patriotic tune.