Adele’s fans expressed their keen displeasure when Donald Trump, the mogul billionaire and Republican presidential hopeful, kept using a number of her songs to fuel his appearances at political campaigns.
Tweets and other forms of social media showed her fans in an uproar, with some indeed hoping that Adele objects to any endorsements offered by Trump. A fan even felt “offended on Adele’s behalf.”
The record-topping artist’s fans asked if Adele was being paid for Trump’s use of her music, but Adele’s spokesperson made it clear that she is not or has not been on Trump’s payroll.
Trump played Adele’s song “Rolling In The Deep,” most especially its refrain “we could have it all” to fire up the atmosphere before he takes to the stage at campaign events. In addition, Trump also played the James Bond theme, her song “Skyfall” (“when it crumbles, we will stand tall, face it all together”) at rallies.
Trump is also an Adele fan, but had left other fans with an unpleasant encounter when, during Adele’s exclusive performance at the Radio City Music Hall last November, Trump had simply cut the line to get to his seat. This earned some boos from the crowd.
Adele has since broken her silence by letting her fans, as well as the rest of the public know that she does not endorse Trump’s appropriation of her music at all. Her spokesperson revealed to The Independent that, “Adele has not given permission for her music to be used for any political campaigning.”
This should come to note to Trump’s Republican Rival, Mike Huckabee, as he also attempted to ride along Adele’s popularity by posting a cover of her song, “Hello” on Twitter and Youtube, with his own featured lyrics about the Iowa caucus. However, copyright issues caused the audio for the post to be muted.
Adele would rather have nothing to do with political debate, as she has claimed in 2011 statement that she was a “Labor girl through and through.”
This was NOT the first time Trump has used artists’ songs without their permission. One such band is Aerosmith. Its frontman, Steven Tyler had his attorneys issue cease-and-desist letters to Trump’s campaign committee for Trump’s use of the power ballad “Dream On” at campaign events. These measures were done to avoid any false impressions of Tyler being associated with or connected to Trump’s presidential bid.
R.E.M. was another artist who had to go through the same trouble. Trump’s use of the song from R.E.M.’s 1984 album entitled “It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” had the lead singer, Michael Stipe, slamming politicians who use his songs without permission with a caustic F-bomb, followed by a sensible, “Do not use our music or my voice for your moronic charade of a campaign.”
On the other hand, Steve Gordon, an entertainment lawyer and author of “The Future of the Music Business” told The Guardian that U.S. artists really have little power to stop candidates from playing their music. Gordon stresses that to play a song’s recording at any political event, the promoter simply needs to procure a license from a licensing agent. Moreover, because of federal government laws, the licensing agent cannot deny a license to anyone who applies.
So can politicians indeed be asked to stay away from any artist’s music? Gordon replies with a curt, “Not really.” This goes to show that at the end of the day, politicians still have their way.
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