Last week, Rihanna issued a cease and desist order against the Trump administration after discovering her music was played at political events where President Trump appeared.
A cease-and-desist letter is a legally enforceable order from a court or government agency directing someone to stop engaging in a particular activity (a.k.a. the wrongdoing of the intended participant).
According to Rolling Stone, Rihanna prohibits the use of her music at rallies and gatherings sponsored by or promoting Trump and his administration.
Broadcast Music, Inc. (aka BMI) followed up with a second cease and desist order supporting Rihanna’s request. BMI publicly announced that they had removed Robyn Fenty, publicly known as Rihanna, and all of her music from the public agreement:
“BMI has received a communication from Robyn Fenty, professionally known as ‘Rihanna,’ objecting to the Trump Campaign’s use of Rihanna’s musical works,” read a letter from BMI. “Rihanna’s musical works are excluded from [Donald J. trump for President, Inc. Political Entities License Agreement], and any performance of Rihanna’s musical works by the Trump Campaign from this date forward is not authorized by BMI.”
Rihanna first learned that her recordings — specifically her 2007 hit “Don’t Stop the Music” — were being played at a Trump rally in Tennessee from Washington Post writer Philip Rucker, who was covering of the event. He sent a tweet that caught Rihanna’s attention:
Not for much longer…me nor my people would ever be at or around one of those tragic rallies, so thanks for the heads up philip! https://t.co/dRgRi06GrJ
— Rihanna (@rihanna) November 5, 2018
According to Vulture, Rihanna is not the first artist to request that the Trump administration not use their work. Adele, Queen and Elton John are among those who have formally requested their music is not played at events associated with the Trump administration.
It is still unclear whether the Trump administration intends to abide by the letter’s demands.
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