Donald Trump announced his third bid for presidency on Tuesday (Nov. 15). The twice-impeached one-term former president reportedly used Sam & Dave’s 1966 hit, “Hold On, I’m Comin'” during the campaign rally at his recently raided home, which has prompted legal action from Isaac Hayes’ estate.
The estate of the late singer, who co-wrote the record with David Porter, is exploring their legal options since Trump was not granted permission or clearance to use the song in any capacity.
“Once again, the estate and family of Isaac Hayes DID NOT approve the use of ‘Hold On I’m Coming’ by Sam and Dave by Donald Trump at his 2024 Presidential announcement tonight,” read a tweet from Hayes’ official account.
“We are exploring multiple legal options to stop this unauthorized use,” it urged. “Stopping a politician from using your music is not always an easy task, but we are dedicated to making sure that Donald Trump does not continue to use ‘Hold on I’m Coming’ by written by Isaac Hayes an David Porter in further rallies and public appearances.”
This isn’t the first instance Trump has had with the unauthorized usage of an artist’s work. The Village People called out the former president for playing their anthem “Y.M.C.A.” against their wishes at his farewell event on Jan. 20, 2021 that had minimal turnout. Prince’s estate has also been vocal about the lack of permission granted for Trump to use the late crooner’s songs during campaigns. Rihanna previously issued a cease-and-desist as well.
Lionel Richie was among those who drafted a letter for Trump and other politicians warning them to seek permission before using their discography during rallies and other political events.
“This is the only way to effectively protect your candidates from legal risk, unnecessary public controversy, and the moral quagmire that comes from falsely claiming or implying an artist’s support or distorting an artists’ expression in such a high stakes public way,” Billboard reports.
Trump is currently facing at least two investigations in New York— one civil, one criminal—exploring his organization for allegations of fraud, and his alleged role in the hostile attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, as well as a criminal investigation into his attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.