Prince’s Estate Sends Sharp Warning To Donald Trump — Stop Playing His Music At Your Rallies

Donald Trump standing at a podium surrounded by audience members holding signs.
Jeff Swensen / Getty Images

If you’ve seen a Trump rally lately, you may have witnessed audience members swaying to Prince’s song “Purple Rain,” and Prince’s estate isn’t having it. According to The Hill, Jeremiah Freed — a friend to Prince during the last years of the late singer’s life — tweeted a message aimed at the White House, telling Trump to stop using the artist’s songs.

Video of recent Trump rallies — including last week’s rally in South Haven, Mississippi — shows the audience members with their hands in the air, swaying as “Purple Rain” plays.

After the footage aired on Fox News and CNN, Anil Dash, founder of Glitch, tweeted a call to Prince’s estate to put an end to the White House’s use of the artist’s music.

“Alright, Prince estate: nobody has more experience shutting down misuses of an artist’s work than you do. You got this,” the tweet said.

Prince is famous for guarding the use of his music. He routinely has his team pursue and close down unauthorized use of his songs. The artist’s team went after eBay, YouTube, and even some fan sites for using his music without express permission.

In response to Trump using the artist’s music at recent rallies, Freed released a statement on Twitter.

“2 whomever it may concern: ‘The Prince Estate has never given permission to President Trump or The White House to use Prince’s songs and have requested that they cease all use immediately,'” Freed, also known as Dr. Funkenberry, tweeted.

The statement was retweeted by Prince’s half-brother Omarr Baker.

Prince typically avoided embracing political partisanship during his lifetime. He supported the Black Lives Matter movement with a concert for Freddie Gray in Baltimore and said “books, black lives, and albums still matter” at the 2015 Grammy Awards. At the same time, Prince — who was a Jehovah’s Witness — held some religiously conservative views.

When asked about gay rights and abortion, Prince deferred to the Bible, saying that neither Republicans nor Democrats were interpreting it correctly.

“God came to earth and saw people sticking it wherever and doing it with whatever, and he just cleared it all out. He was, like, ‘Enough,'” Prince told the New Yorker in 2008.

Prince isn’t the only artist to request that their songs not be used during Trump’s political events. Adele, Neil Young, R.E.M., The Rolling Stones, Twisted Sister, Elton John and Steven Tyler of Aerosmith have all made it clear that their music shouldn’t be used by the White House at rallies.

Prince died in 2016 from an accidental fentanyl overdose.