TULSA, OK (CelebrityAccess) — U.S. President Donald J. Trump used Tom Petty’s 1989 hit “I Won’t Back Down,” during his campaign rally in Tulsa on Saturday and the late singer’s family isn’t happy about it.
Hours after the sparsely attended rally at the BOK Center wrapped on Saturday, Petty’s family issued a statement via social media stating that the use of the song was unauthorized and claiming they issued a cease and desist notice to the Trump campaign.
“Trump was in no way authorized to use this song to further a campaign that leaves too many Americans and common sense behind,” the letter, signed by Petty’s two daughters, Adria and Annakim, his widow, Dana Petty, and ex-wife, Jane Petty said.
“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 like to bring people together.”
“Tom wrote this song for the underdog, for the common man and for EVERYONE. 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. Concurrently, we have issued an official cease and desist notice to the Trump campaign.”
Benmont Tench III, a founding member of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, made a similar statement via Instagram, writing: “I hear that Donald Trump has played Tom’s song ‘Wont Back Down’ at his rally. I agree wholeheartedly with the statement made by Tom’s family. And I in no way approve of Trump even whistling any piece of music associated with our band. I hope that is clear enough.”
The Pettys are the latest in an increasing long list of rights-holders who have enjoined President Trump from using their music at his campaigns, including R.E.M., Neil Young and Steven Tyler.
However, it is unclear if they can enforce the ban of the song was licensed through ASCAP due to the use of compulsory blanket licensing in the U.S.