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Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Revealed: Phil Collins' cease and desist letter to Trump demanded he stop playing In The Air Tonight at MAGA rallies because it's an 'inappropriate trivialization of COVID-19'

 Singer Phil Collins hit Donald Trump with a cease and desist letter to ban the president from playing his hit In The Air Tonight at MAGA rallies claiming he played the song as an 'inappropriate' satirical reference to COVID-19.

Trump blared the British rocker’s 1981 hit song at his Des Moines, Iowa rally on October 14 and at several other stops along his campaign trail.

Collins' lawyers had sent Trump a cease and desist letter back in June for playing his music, but Trump's team never responded to the lawyers.


In a letter sent October 23, Collins' lawyers reiterated their demand Trump refrain from playing 'In The Air Tonight' and any other songs from Collins' library.


Singer Phil Collins has hit Donald Trump’s campaign with a cease and desist letter to ban the president from playing his hit 'In the Air Tonight' at MAGA rallies

Singer Phil Collins has hit Donald Trump’s campaign with a cease and desist letter to ban the president from playing his hit 'In the Air Tonight' at MAGA rallies

Trump blared Collins' song at his Des Moines, Iowa rally on October 14 earlier this month and at several other stops along his campaign trail. Collins' lawyers had sent Trump a cease and desist letter promptly after the Iowa rally, but Trump's team never responded to the lawyers. Trump pictured at the October 14 rally in Des Moines

Trump blared Collins' song at his Des Moines, Iowa rally on October 14 earlier this month and at several other stops along his campaign trail. Collins' lawyers had sent Trump a cease and desist letter promptly after the Iowa rally, but Trump's team never responded to the lawyers. Trump pictured at the October 14 rally in Des Moines

'We wrote you on June 24, 2020 demanding that the Trump campaign cease infringing the musical copyright in the musical work "In the Air Tonight" ...We did not receive the courtesy of a response to our letter,' the letter, obtained by TMZ, says.

'Our previous letter also noted that the campaign’s use of the work constituted an implied and false endorsement of Mr. Trump. It also noted Mr. Collin’s express and unequivocal statement that he wants no affiliation whatsoever with The President of the Trump campaign,' the letter adds.

Collins’ lawyers noted the use of the song was not only 'wholly unauthorized,' but 'inappropriate' because it was played as a satirical reference to COVID-19.

The song was played in Iowa at a time when the Midwestern state was suffering from a surge in COVID-19 infections. 

'Mr. Collins does not condone the apparent trivialization of COVID-19,' the letter states. 


The campaign played the song 'In The Air Tonight 'in the background as Air Force One landed at Des Moines International Airport on October 14

The campaign played the song 'In The Air Tonight 'in the background as Air Force One landed at Des Moines International Airport on October 14

As the plane carrying the president made its approach for landing, the song played in the background. As Trump deplaned Air Force One and came down the stairs, he was met with roaring applause. The president made a grand entrance to Survivor’s hit song Eye of the Tiger

As the plane carrying the president made its approach for landing, the song played in the background. As Trump deplaned Air Force One and came down the stairs, he was met with roaring applause. The president made a grand entrance to Survivor’s hit song Eye of the Tiger

'Under the circumstances, we renew our demand for immediate assurances that the Trump campaign will permanently cease and desist from any further use of Mr. Collin’s’ name, performance and music at any future rallies or otherwise,' the letter states.

In the Des Moines rally 'In The Air Tonight' played to the crowd of hundreds of supporters who gathered near the tarmac at Des Moines International Airport as Trump was arriving on Air Force One.

As the plane carrying the president made its approach for landing, the song played in the background.

As Trump deplaned Air Force One and came down the stairs, he was met with roaring applause. The president made a grand entrance to Survivor’s hit song Eye of the Tiger.

Collins’ representative told Consequence of Sound that the campaign did not have the artist’s permission to use the song.

'Yes we are well aware of the Trump campaign’s use of this song and we have already issued a “cease and desist” letter via our lawyers who continue to monitor the situation,' the rep said.

The family of Tom Petty (left), who died in 2017, asked the president's campaign to stop playing his hit song I Won't Back Down at his rallies
The Rolling Stones have also objected to Donald Trump using one of their songs

The family of Tom Petty (left), who died in 2017, asked the president's campaign to stop playing his hit song I Won't Back Down at his rallies. The Rolling Stones (led by front man Mick Jagger, who is seen right) once threatened legal action to get Trump to stop using the band's material

Collins is the latest in a long line of at least 20 artists to hit back at Trump for using their music at rallies.

The Village People lead singer Victor Willis recently demanded that the president stop playing his band’s hit songs Macho Man and Y.M.C.A. at his rallies.

Earlier this year, the family of the late rocker Tom Petty sent a cease and desist letter to the campaign after it played I Won’t Back Down.

The family said the song was written for the ‘underdog’ and ‘common man’ and that the president did not represent either.

The Rolling Stones, Rihanna, R.E.M., Prince, Panic! At the Disco, Pharrell Williams, Nickelback, Neil Young, Adele, George Harrison, Elton John, Guns N’ Roses, and Luciana Pavarotti have all objected to the use of their material during Trump rallies. 

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