Tom Petty estate sent Trump cease and desist letter for using 'Won't Back Down' at Tulsa rally

"We believe in America and we believe in democracy. But Donald Trump is not representing the noble ideals of either," the late singer's family said.
Image: Tom Petty Obit
Tom Petty performs at the Isle of Wight Festival in Newport, Isle of Wight, on June 22, 2012.Samir Hussein / Getty Images file

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By Doha Madani

Tom Petty's estate requested that President Donald Trump no longer play the late singer's music after "I Won't Back Down" was heard at the president's rally Saturday night in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Trump's team was "in no way" authorized to use the song, Petty's estate said in a statement released on the singer's Twitter page. Petty, who died in 2017 at age 66, wrote the song for the common man and would not have approved of its use in Trump's campaign, the estate said.

"We want to make it clear that everyone is free to vote as they like, think as they like, but the Petty family doesn't stand for this," the statement said. "We believe in America and we believe in democracy. But Donald Trump is not representing the noble ideals of either."

The singer's family said they sent a cease and desist letter to the Trump campaign to prevent any further use of Petty's music.

"We would hate for fans that are marginalized by this administration to think we were complicit in this usage," the family statement said.

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Petty's estate joins a growing list of artists who do not support the president and have demanded that their music not be played at his events, including Rihanna and the Rolling Stones.

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Last year, Prince's estate shared a 2018 letter from Trump's team acknowledging that the late artist's music would not be played at the president's rallies. The release came after "Purple Rain" was heard at a Trump campaign event in Minneapolis, even though the letter stated that the campaign would not play Prince's music.