At this point you guys probably think I’m obsessed with Trump and him playing the music of different celebrities despite their clear objections against it. But I happen to find this quite fascinating because the law does not really address this in the United States as moral rights don’t attach to sound recordings or the performing arts. And never in the history of the United States presidencies (or at least none that I’m aware) have so many celebrities spoken out against the President of the United States and threatened him with legal action for playing their music at his rallies. It’s insane really, and I’m pretty sure at this point Trump has a team he’s put together to find music of his non-supporters just to play it and piss them off. He’s kind of an asshole that way.
Trump played Pharrell’s “Happy” hours after the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh at a Trump rally in Indiana and Pharrell expressed his disapproval with it by issuing a cease and desist to the president. He was disgusted with the choice of song, especially being that it was his own song being played at a time when a nationalist gunman murdered innocent members of a synagogue just hours before. There was indeed nothing happy about that situation or what has been going on in the nation. Trump’s choice of music was offensive, insensitive and downright rude. Pharrell alleges both copyright and trademark infringement in his cease and desist and prohibits any further use of his music by Trump.
Rihanna’s legal team is handling business, as Ms. Fenty is vehemently against her music being played at any Trump function. Rihanna is a member of Broadcast Music, Inc. one of the major performing rights organizations that provide blanket licenses to different organizations to play music within their catalog. Apparently, there was a blanket license, namely the “Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. Political Entities License Agreement” in which her catalog was a part of, but Ms. Fenty removed herself and her music from the license thereby revoking the authority and permission of the Trump administration from playing her music. Rihanna is no longer part of the deal, so BMI sent Mr. Trump a cease and desist for the unauthorized public performance of her music at his rally. Rihanna followed up with a cease and desist of her own when she found out one of her songs, “Don’t Stop the Music”, was played at a Trump rally in Tennessee.
Rihanna has been making waves in support of black people in the recent years – first with the launch of Fenty Beauty, her cosmetic line that addressed the disparity in makeup for women with darker skinned complexions, to turning down Super Bowl performances in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick, to taking a stand against Trump and his antics by taking the legal steps necessary to prohibit the use of her music at any of his functions. I must say, I’ve always loved Rihanna’s music, but I might be a fan now. I appreciate her using her celebrity status to take a stand for issues faced by black Americans in spite of what negative press or publicity it could bring to her career. She’s sticking to her guns and taking it all in stride. You go girl (in my Martin Lawrence voice)!