The Republican National Convention kicked off this week, and it seems the GOP may be running out of songs to play at their events. Many musicians have barred the party from using their music and most recently, Neil Young sued Trump after years of denying him permission to play his music at rallies. Now, Leonard Cohen’s estate is doing the same after the RNC used two covers of his infamous track “Hallelujah.”
According to Consequence Of Sound, both Cohen’s label and his estate promptly denied the RNC’s request to use the song. Brian J. Monaco, president and chief marketing officer of Sony/ATV Music Publishing said that “on the eve of the finale of the convention, representatives from the Republican National Committee contacted us regarding obtaining permission for a live performance of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’. We declined their request.”
A legal representative for Cohen Estate, Michelle L. Rice echoed Monaco’s statements, saying the family was disappointed the RNC went against their wishes. Rice claimed they are “exploring legal options” after the family was “surprised and dismayed that the RNC would proceed knowing that the Cohen Estate had specifically declined the RNC’s use request, and their rather brazen attempt to politicize and exploit in such an egregious manner ‘Hallelujah’, one of the most important songs in the Cohen song catalogue.”
Rice continued to say if the RNC had requested a different song, specifically his posthumous Grammy-winning track “You Want It Darker,” they “might have considered approval of that song.”
Cohen now joins a large list of musicians who have disallowed Trump to use their music. Among Cohen and Young are artists like The Rolling Stones, Linkin Park, Tom Petty, and the Village People.
Read Cohen’s estates’ full statement above.