Phil Collins Is the Latest in a Long List of Artists Who Want Trump to Stop Using Their Music

Trump has a nasty habit of using songs, without permission, by people who dislike him and his policies
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The Trump campaign has a long history of using popular songs at rallies and in campaign videos without permission from artists, spurring lawsuits and threats. On October 23, lawyers for former Genesis lead singer Phil Collins issued a cease and desist letter to the Trump campaign, which has continuously used Collins’s song “In the Air Tonight” at its super-spreader rallies, despite that Collins politely asked the campaign to stop back in late June.

The letter points to a particularly problematic rally in Iowa, when the song was used to mock the spread of COVID-19: “Most recently, the Trump campaign used that work during an Iowa campaign rally on October 14, 2020. That use was not only wholly unauthorized but, as various press articles have commented, particularly inappropriate since it was apparently intended as a satirical reference to Covid-19. That reference was made at a time when Iowa was suffering from an acceleration of Covid-19 infection. Mr. Collins does not condone the apparent trivialization of Covid-19. Moreover, Mr. Collins has serious concerns that the manner in which the Trump campaign has used ‘In the Air Tonight’ has caused, and will cause, damage to Mr. Collins’ reputation and popularity with the public.”

Earlier in October, Credence Clearwater Revival lead singer John Fogherty demanded that the campaign stop using “Fortunate Son” at rallies, a song that’s about rich kids who were able to use money and status to dodge the draft during the Vietnam war—sound familiar?

Here are a few more hits from Trump’s pirated playlist.


Adele “Rolling in the Deep”

Aerosmith ✷ “Living on the Edge”

The Beatles ✷ “Here Comes the Sun”

Bruce Springsteen “Born in the U.S.A.”

Eddie Grant ✷  “Electric Avenue”

Elton John “Rocket Man”

Guns N’ Roses “Live and Let Die”

Hans Zimmer ✷ “Why Do We Fall?”

John Fogerty ✷ “Fortunate Son”

Leonard Cohen “Hallelujah”

Linkin Park ✷  “In the End”

Luciano Pavarotti ✷ “Nessun Dorma”

Neil Young ✷ “Rockin’ in the Free World”

Nickelback “Photograph”

Panic! at the Disco “High Hopes”

Prince “Purple Rain”

Queen ✷  “We Are the Champions”

R.E.M. “It’s the End of the World As We Know It”

Rihanna “Don’t Stop the Music”

The Rolling Stones ✷ “You Cant Always Get What You Want”

Tom Petty “I Won’t Back Down”