Everything You Need To Know About Trump and Rihanna

Published on November 15, 2018

We love a good dose of celebrity drama.

Rihanna has denied Trump rally organizers the right to be able to play her music during their rallies, but the battle may not be completely over. Last week a tweet claiming that her track “Please Don’t Stop The Music” was playing at one of his rallies in Chattanooga caught her attention. She responded by saying that he wouldn’t be able to play her music at his rallies for much longer. The Barbados-born pop star is fighting to have the rights to play her music at Trump events revoked. Her publishing company, Broadway Music. Inc., is backing her wishes. However, it’s a little bit more complicated than that.

Rihanna’s Fire & Fury

Rihanna clearly doesn’t want her music associated with a political view that she doesn’t align with. The singer promptly sent the Trump rally organizers a cease and desist letter, urging them to stop using her music during their rallies immediately. Just a few days later, Broadway Music, Inc. sent another cease and desist letter to the rally organizers with the same request. Broadway Music, Inc. claimed that because Rihanna denied the rights to use her music in the rallies, they can no longer do so according to the Political Entities License Agreement. According to the agreement, a political group can only use Broadway Music’s releases if the artist has not specifically said otherwise. Now that Rihanna has said otherwise, the company can no longer allow the Trump rally organizers to use her music.

The pop music artist turned beauty mogul is not the first artist to revoke these rights, though. Artists like Pharrell Williams and Guns N’ Roses have also expressed their condemnation of the use of their music in any of Trump’s events or rallies. Though the license technically revokes the rally organizers’ right to be able to use Rihanna’s music, there are some ways around it. For example, venues that also carry a license with Broadway Music, Inc. would have to allow the organizers to use her music if they wish because they’re hosting an event at said venue. In order for Rihanna to fully revoke those rights, she would have to revoke the rights of any venue that carries a license with the music publishing company. That would probably not be a good idea. To read more about this, Mashable covers the topic with a lawyer.

What Now?

It seems unlikely that any Trump rally organizer would want to go to great lengths to use Rihanna’s music once she’s denied them the right to, though anything could happen. It’s also pretty unlikely that any more legal action will be taken if organizers continue to use her music. She and her legal team would have to prove damages in order to take further legal action.


Julia Sachs is a former Managing Editor at Grit Daily. She covers technology, social media and disinformation. She is based in Utah and before the pandemic she liked to travel.

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