US President, Donald Trump, has been warned from R&B artist, Pharrell Williams, to stop playing his music at political events. One of Pharrell's biggest hits, Happy, was the song of choice for President Trump at a recent rally in Indiana. The song choice, and timing of the rally, was highly criticised however given the devastating Pittsburgh mass shooting had taken place only a matter of hours beforehand.
Lawyers for Pharrell issued the US leader with a cease and desist letter following the event on 27 October stating that there was nothing "happy" about the tragedy that had taken place on that day and that the use of the song without consent constituted an infringement of the artists trade mark and copyright.
This is not the first time an artist has complained to the US leader about the use of their music. Steven Tyler, Adele, Queen and Neil Young are all examples of artists who have expressly forbidden President Trump from using their music at political events.
It is unusual for an artist to retain the rights to license their own music; music labels or collective rights organisations would normally hold them. This means the artist often loses control on where and when their music is played. Regardless of whether Pharrell retained the rights or not, he has taken steps to stop it from being played where he does not want it to be heard.
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