Pharrell Williams bans Trump from using his music as president plays ‘Happy’ after Pittsburgh shooting

Musician sent the president a cease-and-desist letter after 'poorly timed' usage of his hit single

Jacob Stolworthy
Tuesday 30 October 2018 08:51
Comments

Pharrell Williams has banned Donald Trump from using his music.

The singer’s lawyer sent a cease-and-desist letter to the president after he played his hit single ‘Happy“ at an event during the weekend, just hours after nearly a dozen people were killed in a Pittsburgh synagogue.

“On the day of the mass murder of 11 human beings at the hands of a deranged ‘nationalist,’ you played his song ‘Happy’ to a crowd at a political event in Indiana,” Howard King wrote in the letter, which has since been obtained by USA TODAY.

While noting that the deployment of the song was ill-timed, Williams’ lawyer also highlighted it was used in violation of “copyright infringement” and “trademark rights.”

King added: “There was nothing ‘happy’ about the tragedy inflicted upon our country on Saturday and no permission was granted for your use of this song for this purpose.”

According to the letter, Williams “will not” allow Trump to use music from his back catalogue at any future event.

Numerous musicians have objected to Trump’s use of their music in the past. Earlier this year, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler stepped in when the president played their song “Livin’ on the Edge” at a Charleston rally and “creating the false impression” he had approved its usage.

Support free-thinking journalism and attend Independent events

Queen, REM and the estate of Prince have also stepped in after Trump used their music without seeking their consent.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in