This past weekend, 11 people lost their lives at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. In the following hours, President Trump hosted a political event in Indiana which addressed, among other things, the tragic news. During the event, Pharrell’s song “Happy” was played.
Pharrell and his team have since sent a cease and desist letter to the president, explicitly denying permission to the president for use of the song. Williams’s attorney, Howard King, wrote in a letter on behalf of his client, “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.”
Other musicians including Steven Tyler, Prince’s estate, R.E.M., and Queen have all sent similar C&Ds to the president for the use of their music at rallies.
WOWZA. Check out this cease and desist sent by Pharrell Williams to Donald Trump for using “Happy” on “the day of the mass murder of 11 human beings,” as the letter puts it. pic.twitter.com/Mst83Vp0kO
— Eriq Gardner (@eriqgardner) October 29, 2018
Photo via aLIVE Coverage for Life Is Beautiful