Canadian-born singer-songwriter Neil Young wrote that he was “not OK” with his music being played at President Donald Trump’s Independence Day event on Friday at Mount Rushmore.”Rockin’ in the Free World” and “Like a Hurricane” were at least two of Young’s songs that were played at the Independence Day event, according to videos shared by the musician’s Twitter account.In the hours leading up to President Trump’s speech at Mount Rushmore Friday night, a group of Native American protesters blocked the road to the national monument. “I stand in solidarity with the Lakota Sioux & this is NOT ok with me,” Young tweeted on Friday.In June, The Rolling Stones and the estate of Tom Petty, respectively, threatened to sue Trump after their music was played at the president’s rallies.Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Canadian-born singer-songwriter Neil Young complained after at least two of his songs were played at President Donald Trump’s Independence Day event on Friday at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota.The official Twitter account of Young shared videos of songs “Rockin’ in the Free World” and “Like a Hurricane” being played at the venue.—Neil Young Archives (@NeilYoungNYA) July 4, 2020 In response to one video, Young wrote: “This is NOT ok with me.” He later tweeted, “I stand in solidarity with the Lakota Sioux,” referring to Native American protestors who blocked the road leading up to Mount Rushmore and faced off with the National Guard in the hours before Trump’s speech. —Neil Young Archives (@NeilYoungNYA) July 4, 2020 Protesters who were gathered outside the Independence Day event on Friday held signs that read “You Are On Stolen Land” and “Protect SoDak’s First People,” referencing the region where Mount Rushmore is located — Black Hills — as an area that is sacred for Native Americans, particularly the Lakota Sioux.
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump onstage at the Independence Day event on Friday.
SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images
In regards to Young’s complaint about his music being used by Trump — it’s not his first time the artist has spoken out against the matter, and he’s also not the first musician to take issue with their songs being played by the current president.
Young first issued a complaint to Trump in 2015 after “Rockin’ in the Free World” was played during an official campaign announcement.”Donald Trump was not authorized to use ‘Rockin’ in the Free World’ in his presidential candidacy announcement. Neil Young, a Canadian citizen, is a supporter of Bernie Sanders for President of the United States of America,” said a statement from Young’s representatives at the time.Recently, the family of the late Tom Petty condemned the apparent use of “I Won’t Back Down” at Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in June.Representatives for the Rolling Stones, BMI, published a statement in June threatening to sue Trump if he continued to use the band’s music at campaigning events.
“The BMI have notified the Trump campaign on behalf of the Stones that the unauthorized use of their songs will constitute a breach of its licensing agreement,” the statement read, per Rolling Stone. “If Donald Trump disregards the exclusion and persists then he would face a lawsuit for breaking the embargo and playing music that has not been licensed.”