Donald Trump violated a written agreement with Prince’s estate by playing “Purple Rain” during a campaign rally in Minneapolis on Thursday evening.
The musician’s estate shared a copy of a letter sent and signed by Trump’s legal team in October 2018. “Without admitting liability, and to avoid any future dispute, we write to confirm that the campaign will not use Prince’s music in connection with [the campaign’s] activities going forward,” the letter reads.
Despite this promise, “Purple Rain” played aloud during Trump’s campaign rally at Minneapolis’ Target Center. Trump made no mention of Prince during his actual speech, but he did mock several other outspoken musicians, including Bruce Springsteen, JAY-Z, and Beyoncé.
This is not the first time Trump’s campaign playlist has drawn the ire of musicians. Rihanna, Axl Rose, Pharrell Williams, Neil Young, and The Rolling Stones have all previously complained about the president’s use of their songs without their permission. Meanwhile, both R.E.M. and Nickelback have filed copyright grievances against the president for the unauthorized use of their music in Twitter posts. And long before he became president, Trump was nearly stabbed by The Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards after reneging on an agreement.
Promises made, promises kept my ass.
President Trump played Prince’s “Purple Rain” tonight at a campaign event in Minneapolis despite confirming a year ago that the campaign would not use Prince’s music. The Prince Estate will never give permission to President Trump to use Prince’s songs. pic.twitter.com/FuMUPzSWOe
— Prince (@prince) October 11, 2019
Here is the Trump Campaign using "Purple Rain" in Minneapolis last night, in breach of a promise made by a campaign lawyer to the estate over a year ago "that the campaign will not use Prince’s music in connection with its activities going forward.” https://t.co/LbVRryTlq0 pic.twitter.com/NsDz3hmFFX
— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) October 11, 2019