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Elton John and Lionel Richie ask politicians to stop ‘using music’

Elton John, The Rolling Stones and Lionel Richie are among over 50 musicians imploring US politicians on both sides of the aisle to stop using their songs without permission.

The Artists Rights Alliance (ARA) penned an open letter to Republicans and Democrats on Tuesday asking them ‘to pledge that all candidates you support will seek consent from featured recording artists and songwriters before using their music in campaign and political settings.’

‘This is the only way to effectively protect your candidates from legal risk,’ the letter continued. 

The letter continued, ‘Being dragged unwillingly into politics in this way can compromise an artist’s personal values while disappointing and alienating fans – with great moral and economic cost.’ 

‘For artists that do choose to engage politically in campaigns or other contexts, this kind of unauthorized public use confuses their message and undermines their effectiveness.’ 

‘Music tells powerful stories and drives emotional connection and engagement – that’s why campaigns use it, after all! But doing so without permission siphons away that value.’ 

‘It should be anathema to any honest candidate to play off this kind of uncertainty or falsely leave the impression of an artist’s or songwriter’s support.’

Also signing the letter were artists such as Sia, Lorde, Courtney Love, the estate of Kurt Cobain, Sheryl Crow, R.E.M. and Cyndi Lauper.

Earlier this month, rocker Neil Young voiced his objections to the Trump campaign using his songs at an event.

During his rally, held at the base of Mount Rushmore on Friday, US President Donald Trump played three of the rocker’s songs, to Young’s apparent irritation.

‘This is NOT ok with me,’ the 74-year-old tweeted from his official account, alongside a video of his 1989 hit Rockin’ in a Free World blaring out over the event’s speakers. 

Young however is not one of the artists who signed the ARA letter on Tuesday. 

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