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Pharrell Williams Orders President Trump To Stop Using His 'Happy' Song

by Jessica Rapir / Oct 30, 2018 05:47 AM EDT
Pharrell Williams orders President Trump to stop using his 'Happy' song. Photo by Pharrell Williams/Facebook

Pharrell Williams is furious after his song "Happy" was used by no other than U.S. President Donald Trump during a rally after the congregation shooting in Pittsburgh recently. The American rapper stressed, through his lawyer, that he did not and will not grant permission to Trump to play his song in the rally. He also reminded the president that doing such is a violation of copyright and trademark laws.

In a cease-and-desist letter sent by Pharell's camp directly to Trump, the singer states that there is nothing to be "happy" about after 11 people died in the shooting at the Tree of Life congregation in Pittsburgh. Pharell's rage started when Trump played the rapper's hit song "Happy" during a political rally in Indiana hours after the shooting.

At the rally, Trump described the shooting as an "evil anti-semitic attack." Eleven people were killed, and six were wounded in the massacre. Majority of them are elderly Jewish Americans.

"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. 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," the singer's lawyer Howard King wrote in the cease-and-desist letter addressed to the president.

King added that his client has not and will not grant Trump permission to publicly use his music in under any circumstances. He also warned that use of "Happy" without the artist's consent constitutes both copyright and trademark infringement which implies legal action against Trump may follow if he continued to play Pharrell Williams' music in rallies without his permission.

This is not the first time Trump has received a cease and desist letter from a musician. Steven Tyler has protested Trump's use of Aerosmith's song "Livin' On the Edge" at a Charleston rally. Tyler was dismayed that it created an impression that he had approved the use of the song. Others artists who have made similar complaints against Trump include Queen, R.E.M.,  the filmmakers of the movie Air Force One as well as the estate of Prince for playing "Purple Rain" at political rallies.

Aside for receiving backlash for his choice of music in Indiana, President Trump was also criticized for making a joke about having a "bad hair day." Washington Post reported that during his speech at the rally, Trump joked about canceling the event because he's having a bad hair day. 

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