The family of the late rock star Tom Petty said Saturday it had sent the Trump re-election campaign a cease and desist request over what it called the unauthorized use of the singer’s “I Won’t Back Down” during the president’s rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
“Trump was in no way authorized to use this song to further a campaign that leaves too many Americans and common sense behind,” the family said in a statement posted on the late singer’s Twitter account. “Both the late Tom Petty and his family firmly stand against racism and discrimination of any kind. Tom Petty would never want a song of his used for a campaign of hate. He liked to bring people together.”
A rep for the Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Petty, who died in 2017 of an accidental overdose of pain medications, first released the song in 1989. “Tom wrote the song for the underdog, for the common man, and for EVERYONE,” according to the statement, which was signed by Adria, Annakim, Dana and Jane Petty. “We want to make it clear that we believe everyone is free to vote as they like, think as they like, but the Petty family doesn’t stand for this. We believe in America and we believe in democracy. But Donald Trump is not representing the noble ideals of either. We would hate for fans that are marginalized by this administration to think we were complicit in this usage.”
— Tom Petty (@tompetty) June 21, 2020
This is not the first time that musicians and their estates have objected to Trump’s use of their songs at his rallies and campaign events. The president and his campaign have received similar legal requests from Steven Tyler, Elton John, Rihanna, Adele, the Rolling Stones and Prince’s estate.