Pharrell Williams’s legal team has sent President Trump a cease and desist letter after the president played the artist’s song “Happy” at a rally on Saturday. The rally in Indiana occurred just hours after the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. Eleven people lost their lives.
Williams’s attorney, Howard King, wrote in a letter, “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.”
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
According to Williams’s attorney, the musician “has not” and “will not” grant the president permission to publicly perform or “otherwise broadcast or disseminate any of his music.”
“Happy,” a song that emits the feeling of happiness and includes lyrics like, “Here come bad news, talk this and that / Well, give me all you got, and don’t hold back / Well, I should probably warn you I’ll be just fine / No offense to you, don’t waste your time / Here’s why / Because I’m happy,” is in stark contrast to the feelings of the day following the tragic shooting.
This is not Trump’s first brush with a cease and desist from musicians. Steven Tyler, Prince’s estate, R.E.M., and Queen have all sent the president requests to cease and desist from using their music during rallies.
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