Trump's use of We Are the Champions 'unauthorized,' band says
Republican National Committee spokesman Sean Spicer says party paid to license the song
Queen doesn't want Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump using its music, and the classic rock band's publishing company says Trump has not asked for permission to use the group's songs.
Sony/ATV Music Publishing — which administers Queen's catalogue, including songs such as We Are the Champions — said in a statement Tuesday it has repeatedly asked Trump not to use We Are the Champions, which was played Monday during the first day of the Republican National Convention. Last month, Queen guitarist Brian May also wrote a blog post protesting the use of the song by the Trump campaign.
"Sony/ATV Music Publishing has never been asked by Mr. Trump, the Trump campaign or the Trump Organization for permission to use We Are the Champions by Queen. On behalf of the band, we are frustrated by the repeated unauthorized use of the song after a previous request to desist, which has obviously been ignored by Mr. Trump and his campaign," the statement read.
Trump's representative did not respond to questions about the Sony/ATV complaint Tuesday.
But Republican National Committee spokesman Sean Spicer said in a tweet on Tuesday that the party had paid to license the use of the song in the arena.
When Trump used the song again on Tuesday, the band tweeted: "An unauthorised use at the Republican Convention against our wishes."
An unauthorised use at the Republican Convention against our wishes - Queen—@QueenWillRock
Before Melania Trump gave her speech in Cleveland, her husband made a brief appearance to introduce her and walked onstage to Queen's 1977 hit song.
"Queen does not want its music associated with any mainstream or political debate in any country. Nor does Queen want We are the Champions to be used as an endorsement of Mr. Trump and the political views of the Republican Party," the statement continued. "We trust, hope and expect that Mr. Trump and his campaign will respect these wishes moving forward.
Other musicians, including the Rolling Stones, also have asked Trump to stop using their songs.
Adele and Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler both asked the candidate to stop using their recorded songs to fire up crowds. Neil Young also objected when the real estate mogul used Rockin' in the Free World during his campaign kickoff announcement last year. In those cases, the Trump campaign stopped using the songs.