Music News

Sheryl Crow, Train, Lionel Richie, Alanis & more urge political campaigns to seek consent before using music

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Sheryl Crow, Train, Sia, Lionel Richie, Alanis Morissette and Cyndi Lauper are among more than 50 artists who’ve signed an open letter asking that political campaigns seek consent from the recording artists and songwriters before using their music.

The letter comes after a recent string of artists, including The Rolling Stones, R.E.M., Neil Young and many more, criticized President Donald Trump for using their music without permission.

“This is not a new problem,” the letter reads. “Or a partisan one.”

The letter, which was published in partnership with the Artists Rights Alliance, points to the litany of potential legal issues — such as copyright and trademark infringement — that can arise when a politician uses an artist’s music without consent. It also notes the moral implications of such use.

“Falsely implying support or endorsement from an artist or songwriter is dishonest and immoral,” the letter reads. “It undermines the campaign process, confuses the voting public, and ultimately distorts elections.”

“It should be anathema to any honest candidate to play off this kind of uncertainty or falsely leave the impression of an artist’s or songwriter’s support,” the letter declares.

Ultimately, the signees ask campaign committees to “establish clear policies requiring campaigns supported by your committees to seek the consent of featured recording artists, songwriters, and copyright owners before publicly using their music in a political or campaign setting.”

The letter requests an answer regarding a “plan to accomplish these changes” by August 10.

Other artists who signed the letter include Matt Nathanson, The B-52s, Jewel, Aerosmith, Blondie, Michelle Branch and more.

To read the full letter and see who signed it, visit

By Andrea Dresdale
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