Phil Collins has sent a cease and desist letter to US President Donald Trump over his use of the song In the Air Tonight at his election rallies.
Collins has claimed that the Trump re-election campaign's use of the song has been used to 'trivialise' Covid-19, which is spread by airborne particles, after the track was played at a Trump rally in Iowa earlier in October.
In a letter to the Trump campaign, Collins’ lawyer says that the use of the song was "apparently intended as a satirical reference to Covid-19."
He added: "Mr. Collins has serious concerns that the manner in which the Trump campaign has used In the Air Tonight has caused, and will cause, damage to Mr. Collins' reputation and popularity with the public."
Collins is the latest musician to issue warnings to Trump over the use of their songs, with R.E.M., Neil Young, Tom Petty and Rihanna having already made their feelings clear.
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US entertainment website TMZ has obtained a copy of the full letter.
"As you know, we are counsel for Phil Collins and for his service company, Philip Collins Limited.
"We wrote you on June 24, 2020 demanding that the Trump campaign cease infringing the musical copyright in the musical work In the Air Tonight. Another copy of our June 24, 2020 letter is attached. Our previous letter also noted that the campaign’s use of the work constituted an implied and false endorsement of Mr. Trump. It also noted Mr. Collin’s express and unequivocal statement that he wants no affiliation whatsoever with The President or the Trump campaign.
"We did not receive the courtesy of a response to our letter.
"We now have learned that the Trump campaign has continued its improper use of In the Air Tonight. Most recently, the Trump campaign used that work during an Iowa campaign rally on October 14, 2020. That use was not only wholly unauthorized but, as various press articles have commented, particularly inappropriate since it was apparently intended as a satirical reference to Covid-19. That reference was made at a time when Iowa was suffering from an acceleration of Covid-19 infection. Mr. Collins does not condone the apparent trivialization of Covid-19. Moreover, Mr. Collins has serious concerns that the manner in which the Trump campaign has used In the Air Tonight has caused, and will cause, damage to Mr. Collins’ reputation and popularity with the public.
"Under the circumstances, we renew our demand for immediate assurances that the Trump campaign will permanently cease and desist from any further use of Mr. Collins’ name, performance and music at any future rallies or otherwise."
Donald Trump or his team have yet to respond.