Rihanna is the latest pop star to disapprove of President Donald Trump using her music during his rallies.
On Sunday afternoon, Washington Post White House Bureau Chief Philip Rucker tweeted that Rihanna’s 2008 hit “Don’t Stop the Music” was being played while Trump was campaigning for Republican Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
“Trump’s rallies are unlike anything else in politics,” Rucker wrote. “Currently, Rihanna’s “Don’t Stop the Music” is blaring in Chattanooga as aides toss free Trump T-shirts into the crowd, like a ball game. Everyone’s loving it.”
Rihanna retweeted the message and thanked Rucker for alerting her, but she didn’t want her music aligned with Trump’s messaging.
“[Neither] me nor my people would ever be at or around one of those tragic rallies,” Rihanna wrote. “Thanks for the heads up philip!”
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
Hours prior to Rucker’s tweet, the Bajan singer sent out a message urging Floridians to vote for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum.
FLORIDA: You have the opportunity to make history this election. Let’s #bringithome. Vote @andrewgillum. And VOTE YES on Amendment 4 to restore voting rights to folks who have already paid their debt to society. VOTE on November 6th! https://t.co/ApH5hN7anc pic.twitter.com/Kpxz9XleYZ
— Rihanna (@rihanna) November 4, 2018
Axl Rose, the lead singer of Guns N’ Roses, followed up Rihanna’s comments by asking No. 45 to stop using the rock group’s music.
“GNR like a lot of artists opposed to the unauthorized use of their music at political events has formally requested r music not b used at Trump rallies or Trump associates events,” the singer tweeted.
Unfortunately the Trump campaign is using loopholes in the various venues’ blanket performance licenses which were not intended for such craven political purposes, without the songwriters’ consent.
Can u say “shitbags?!”💩
— Axl Rose (@axlrose) November 4, 2018
Rose and Rihanna are following in the steps of superproducer Pharrell Williams, who hit back at Trump for playing his Grammy Award-winning hit “Happy” at a rally just hours after the fatal shooting of 11 worshippers at a Pittsburgh synagogue on Oct. 28.
Williams’ attorney Howard King sent the president a cease-and \-desist letter regarding the usage of the song.
“On the day of the mass murder of 11 human beings at the hands of a deranged ‘nationalist,’ you played his song ‘Happy’ to a crowd at a political event in Indiana,” the letter stated. “There was nothing ‘happy’ about the tragedy inflicted upon our country on Saturday and no permission was granted for your use of this song for this purpose.”
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.