Adele: Donald Trump 'had no permission' to use music

By Mark Savage
Music reporter

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image copyrightGetty Images
image captionTrump played Adele's hit during a rally held in South Carolina last week

Pop star Adele has issued a statement to distance herself from Donald Trump, after he used her music at his rallies.

The Republican presidential candidate, whose slogan is "Make America great again", has recently been playing Adele's hit Rolling In The Deep as his "warm-up" music.

"Adele has not given permission for her music to be used for any political campaigning," her spokesman confirmed.

It is not the first time Trump has been criticised for appropriating pop songs.

Lawyers for Aerosmith star Steven Tyler sent Trump's campaign a cease-and-desist letter last year, after the politician played the band's hit single Dream On at numerous rallies around the US.

The letter said Trump's use of the song gave "a false impression" he endorsed Mr Trump's presidential bid.

Trump responded on Twitter, saying he had the legal right to use the song, but had found "a better one to take its place".

"Steven Tyler got more publicity on his song request than he's gotten in 10 years. Good for him!" he added.

'Unlikely combo'

Previously, the businessman had played Neil Young's Rockin' in the Free World - an angry response to presidency of George Bush Senior - while announcing his candidacy.

Young, a well-known liberal, demanded that Trump stop using the song and declared his support for Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders instead.

image copyrightReuters
image captionTrump is thought to be a fan Adele's music

Trump then used REM's It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine), prompting singer Michael Stipe to issue a strongly-worded statement, saying: "Do not use our music or my voice for your moronic charade of a campaign."

The politician was first observed to have played Adele's hit during a rally held in Lexington, South Carolina, last week. prompting BBC's North America Editor Jon Sopel to comment it was an "unlikely combo".

But Trump is believed to be a fan of the singer's work, even having watched her perform in New York.

Politicians using songs by musicians who do not support them has been a thorny issue for decades, since Bruce Springsteen castigated President Reagan for planning to use Born in the USA as a backdrop for his 1984 re-election campaign.

Technically, US copyright laws give politicians carte blanche to use recorded music at their rallies - as long as the venue has a public performance licence issued through a songwriters' association such as ASCAP or BMI (in the US) or PRS (in the UK).

However, there is some leeway for an artist to complain their image and reputation is being damaged by the repeated use of a song without their express permission.

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