POLITICS

Tom Petty's Family Demands Trump Stop Using 'I Won't Back Down' In 'Campaign Of Hate'

“We believe in America and we believe in democracy. But Donald Trump is not representing the noble ideas of either,” the family said.

The family of the late rocker Tom Petty has demanded that Donald Trump stop using the musician’s song “I Won’t Back Down” for the president’s “campaign of hate.”

The 1989 hit was blasted from speakers at the BOK Center during Trump’s lackluster rally Saturday in Tulsa, Oklahoma

“I know what’s right,” Petty sings in his song. “I got just one life. In a world that keeps pushin’ me around, I’ll stand my ground. I won’t back down.”

His family has issued a cease-and-desist notice to the campaign to stop the use of the music.

“Trump was in no way authorized to use this song to further a campaign that leaves too many Americans and common sense behind,” a statement from Petty’s family said.

“Both the late Tom Petty and his family firmly stand against racism and discrimination of any kind. Tom Petty would never want a song of his used for a campaign of hate. He likes to bring people together.”

People are free to vote for candidates of their choosing, the statement emphasized.

“We believe in America and we believe in democracy. But Donald Trump is not representing the noble ideas of either,” it added. “We would hate for fans who have been marginalized by this administration to think we were complicit in this usage.

The statement was signed by Petty’s daughters Adria and Annakim, his first wife, Jane Petty, and his widow, Dana Petty.

 Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers keyboardist Benmont Tench also posted the family statement on his Instagram account. Tench noted in a separate post that he in “no way” approves of Trump “even whistling any piece of music associated with our band.”

Petty died in 2017 at the age of 66 of an accidental drug overdose.

Several musicians have clashed with Trump about his use of their songs without permission and against their wishes. He has helped himself to music from complaining artists, including Neil Young, Adele, Rihanna, the Rolling Stones, Aerosmith and Elton John — and Prince’s estate last year

Twitter last year removed a Trump campaign video from the president’s account after Queen complained about unauthorized use of the band’s song “We Will Rock You.” A doctored video featuring “Photograph” by Nickelback posted by Trump was also taken down. 

Mike Mills, the bass player for the now-defunct rock band R.E.M., said earlier this year that members of the band were “exploring all legal avenues” to prevent Trump from using their songs after the president’s reelection campaign helped itself to “Everybody Hurts” and “Losing My Religion.”

Mills called Trump a “fraud” and “con man,” saying the band does “not condone the use of our music” by him.

HuffPost has reached out to Trump’s campaign for comment.

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