Adele declared on Monday she didn’t give Donald Trump permission to use her songs for his campaign. The presidential hopeful used her song “Rolling in the Deep” at a rally in Oklahoma and also used the theme of “Skyfall” in Ohio.
A representative for Adele told FOX411, “Adele has not given permission for her music to be used for any political campaigning.”
Adele isn't the first artist to ask a politician not stop using her music. Neil Young memorably argued with Trump over use of the song "Rockin' in the Free World," Dropkick Murphys asked Scott Walker to stop playing one of their songs, and Frankie Sullivan said he didn't want Mike Huckabee playing "Eye of the Tiger."
Darren Oved, a New York litigator, explained the rights required when using a specific song.
“Legally speaking, the artist’s rights in this regard are very limited,” he explained in an email. “According to the Copyright Act, as long as the user pays to the appropriate performance rights society (usually ASCAP, SESAC or BMI), the applicable licensing fee for the use of the song, or a portion of the song, they can use it without interference from the artist.”
Still, Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5WPR, said musicians may not want to be affiliated with a political candidate.
“Artists want everyone to love their music, those who vote conservative as well as those who vote liberal, and so it makes complete sense why an artist doesn’t want to be affiliated with certain political candidates,” he explained. “Just because a politician is a fan of a certain artist doesn’t mean said artist is a fan of that politician.”
Steven Tyler, of Aerosmith, sent a cease-and-desist letter to Trump after the politician played the classic “Dream On” at a rally last year. Trump immediately stopped playing his music. Michael Stipe, of REM, also called out Trump after he used one of the band’s songs.
Stipe tweeted: “Go f--k yourselves, the lot of you—you sad, attention-grabbing, power hungry little men. Do not use our music or my voice for your moronic charade of a campaign.”
Oved said most of the time, a politician will stop using the artist’s music if the artist complains.
And sometimes artists are more than happy to hear their songs played at rallies.
On Monday, Kid Rock endorsed Trump in a Rolling Stone article, saying he is “digging Donald Trump.” In the past Trump has used Kid Rock’s hit, “Born Free” on the campaign trail.
One entrepreneur, Elie Hirschfeld, said he doesn’t like to see why politicians should be associated with music at all.
“… I am not sure I want [Trump, Hillary Clinton] or any other candidate - playing my favorite music,” he said. “Music offers relaxation, enjoyment – can that really be reconciled with politicians?”