Another artist who took issue with Trump flouting the wishes of a musician not interested in being associated with his divisive policies and pronouncements was the legacy manager for Laura Branigan, who once again criticized the former reality show host for playing her client's signature song "Gloria" at the tarmac gathering.
"It was both sad and upsetting to see Laura's memory and 'Gloria' become an unwilling participant in the Trump video earlier this month on one of the darkest days in U.S. history," Kathy Golik tells Billboard, referencing the song being played by Trump's team inside a tent just before the violent riot by his supporters ahead of their attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, with members of his family seen dancing to the track; the riot resulted in the deaths of five people, including a Capitol Police officer who died from injuries suffered in a clash with the angry mob. "It was very disheartening to see such an iconic song be associated in any way, shape, or form with acts of violence. No endorsement was ever given to Trump, nor permission for use of 'Gloria' granted, on behalf of Laura Branigan, or her legacy management company, Other Half Entertainment.
"As far as Trump's use of "Gloria" during his farewell [speech], I can't say that it surprised me, as he continues to use music from various artists without their direct consent, and of course, I am not happy about that," Golik adds. "'Gloria' is a great, energetic anthem that for decades has evoked many good feelings, memories of times and places, etc. for so many across the globe, and that's the association that Laura would want, and that I do as her legacy manager. It's about not giving the power to those who do not deserve it, to change all the good that people have always felt about 'Gloria' - to take the song back and restore it, and in turn, Laura's legacy, once again."
Trump was sued several times by artists who objected to his use of their music at his rallies, including by Neil Young and Eddy Grant, whose 1983 hit "Electric Avenue" was the soundtrack to a bizarre Trump campaign video last year. In November, the notoriously litigious real-estate mogul's lawyers filed for a dismissal of the copyright infringement case brought by Grant by arguing that their use of the track in an animated campaign video mocking Joe Biden was covered by fair use provisions.
Over the past five years, artists from Adele to Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, R.E.M., Aerosmith, Panic! at the Disco, Guns N' Roses, The Rolling Stones, Rihanna and the estates of Leonard Cohen, Tom Petty and Prince have vociferously objected to Trump playing their music at his rallies.