Mike Huckabee Campaign Pays $25K to Settle With ‘Eye of the Tiger’ Songwriters

Former presidential candidate didn’t pay for the rights to use the Survivor hit at his rally last year

Last Updated: June 28, 2016 @ 8:57 AM

Mike Huckabee is still paying for his failed presidential campaign.

The former candidate has been ordered to pay $25,000 for using the Survivor hit song “Eye of the Tiger” at a political event last year without the band’s permission, CNNMoney reported.

Huckabee played the triumphant song — best known as the theme for “Rocky III” — at a rally he held for Kim Davis, the controversial Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The Republican hopeful — who suspended his campaign on Feb. 1 — agreed to a confidential settlement with Rude Music, the company that is owned by Survivor guitarist Frankie Sullivan, who cowrote the song.

Although they settled out of court, the amount came to light when Huckabee listed the $25,000 cost as a campaign expense on federal election records, which CNNMoney has since obtained.

According to the June 12 filing, Huckabee paid half of it in May and listed the $12,500 payment as an “itemized disbursement,” then listed the other half as “debts and obligations.”

During court proceedings, the former Arkansas governor claimed that the anti-gay-rights rally was a “religious assembly… signifying joy and praise at the release of Mrs. Davis” from jail. A religious event would classify the act of playing the song as “noncommercial” and allow him to cite “fair use” — letting him play part of the song without paying for it.

However, the songwriter’s lawyer argued that Huckabee claimed the rally as a presidential campaign expense.

Davis spent five days in jail last September over her refusal to issue same-sex marriage licenses.

“Praise God that Kim Davis is being released,” Sen. Ted Cruz, another former GOP presidential candidate, posted on his Facebook page after she was released. “It was an outrage that she was imprisoned for six days for living according to her Christian faith.”

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.