Tom Petty's Estate Orders Trump to Cease and Desist

President played 'I Won't Back Down' at Tulsa rally
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2020 1:40 AM CDT
Tom Petty's Estate Orders Trump to Cease and Desist
President Donald Trump speaks at his campaign rally at the BOK Center in downtown Tulsa, Okla., Saturday, June 20, 2020.   (Matt Barnard/Tulsa World via AP)

President Trump played Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down" at his Tulsa rally Saturday, and the late singer's family was having none of it. The same day, Petty's estate posted a statement on Twitter saying the POTUS was "in no way authorized to use this song to further a campaign that leaves too many Americans and common sense left behind," the Guardian reports. Petty and his family "firmly stand against racism and discrimination of any kind," it continues. "Tom Petty would not want a song of his used for a campaign of hate. He liked to bring people together." Petty died of an accidental overdose in 2017.

Benmont Tench III, a founding member of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, also weighed in on Instagram, CBS News reports. "I in no way approve of Trump even whistling any piece of music associated with our band. I hope that's clear enough," he wrote. The family says it has issued a formal cease and desist notice to Trump. "We believe in America and we believe in democracy," the statement continues. "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." Other artists including REM, Neil Young, Elton John, Rihanna, Adele, Guns N Roses, the Rolling Stones, Pharrell, Queen, Prince, Aerosmith, and Earth Wind and Fire have also denounced Trump's use of their music. (More Tom Petty stories.)

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