2 Feb 2016

Adele tells Trump to dump campaign song

12:44 pm on 2 February 2016

British singer Adele has made it clear she has not given permission for anyone to use her music for political campaigns.

Adele's spokesman issued a statement after Republican US presidential contender Donald Trump played Adele's 2011 hit song Rolling in the Deep at rallies in Iowa.

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Photo: AFP/FILE

"Adele has not given permission for her music to be used for any political campaigning," the singer's spokesman said.

He did not say whether Adele, whose new album 25 was the biggest seller in the United States last year, was contemplating legal steps to prevent the unauthorised use of her music.

Adele is far from the only pop or rock star to have seen politicians co-opt their music for political purposes.

Rock band R.E.M. lashed out at Mr Trump in September for using its hit song, It's the End of the World at a rally.

Lawyers for Aerosmith star Steven Tyler sent Mr 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.

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Donald Trump has had complaints from several musicians, who do not want him to use their music. Photo: AFP/FILE

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

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

Mr Trump is believed to be a fan of the Adele'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.

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.

- BBC / Reuters