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Blondie, Lorde, Courtney Love
Blondie via Instagram @blondieofficial, Lorde photography Ryan McGinley; styling Robbie Spencer, Courtney Love via Instagram @courtneylove

Lorde, Blondie, and more demand politicians get approval to use their music

An open letter also signed by Courtney Love and Sia is calling on Democrats and Republicans to seek consent before using artists’ songs at campaign rallies

Lorde, Blondie, Courtney Love, and Sia, and are among a list of over 50 artists who have signed an open letter calling on politicians to get approval before using their music at campaign rallies.

The letter is urging Democrats and Republicans to “establish clear policies requiring campaigns to seek consent of featured recording artists, songwriters, and copyright owners before publicly using their music in a political or campaign setting”. 

Drawn up by the Artists Rights Alliance (ARA), a non-profit advocating for the rights of musicians and performers, the open letter is also signed by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, Cyndi Lauper, Elvis Costello, Fall Out Boy, Elton John, Green Day, and more.

“This is not a new problem,” the letter reads. “Or a partisan one. Every election cycle brings stories of artists and songwriters frustrated to find their work being used in settings that suggest endorsement or support of political candidates without their permission or consent.”

Artists including RihannaAdele, and Prince’s Estate have previously called on Donald Trump to stop using their music at rallies. After being made aware that her track, “Don’t Stop The Music” was being played by the president’s campaign in 2018, Rihanna said: “Not for much longer… me nor my people would ever be at or around one of those tragic rallies.”

The Prince Estate also demanded that the Trump campaign “cease all use immediately” after finding out “Purple Rain” was used at a Mississippi rally in October 2018.

The open letter asserts that “being dragged into politics in this way can compromise an artist’s personal values while disappointing and alienating fans – with great moral and economic cost”.

It continues: “Falsely implying support or endorsement from an artist or songwriter is dishonest and immoral. It undermines the campaign process, confuses the voting public, and ultimately distorts elections.” 

The letter calls on the Democratic and Republican National, Congressional, and Senatorial committees to respond by August 10. Read the full letter here.