'Nothing 'happy' about the tragedy': Pharrell Williams's legal team sends Trump cease and desist for using song after synagogue shooting

Pharrell Williams‘s legal team has sent President Donald Trump a cease and desist letter after the president played the artist’s song “Happy” at a rally on Saturday. The rally in Indiana occurred just hours after the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. Eleven people lost their lives.

Williams’s attorney, Howard King, wrote in a letter, “On the day of the mass murder of 11 human beings at the hands of a deranged ‘nationalist,’ you played his song ‘Happy’ to a crowd at a political event in Indiana. There was nothing ‘happy’ about the tragedy inflicted upon our country on Saturday and no permission was granted for your use of this song for this purpose.”

According to Williams’s attorney, the musician “has not” and “will not” grant the President permission to publicly perform or “otherwise broadcast or disseminate any of his music.”

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Pharrell Williams and his wife, Helen
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Pharrell Williams and his wife, Helen
LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 17: Pharrell Williams (L) and Helen Lasichanh attend The 17th Annual Latin Grammy Awards at T-Mobile Arena on November 17, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images )
HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 12: Singer Pharrell Williams (R) and Helen Lasichanh arrive at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 8th Annual Governors Awards at The Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center on November 12, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 23: Singer-songwriter Pharrell Williams and his wife Helen Lasichanh attend the Los Angeles Mission Christmas Celebration at Los Angeles Mission on December 23, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Greg Doherty/Getty Images)
PALM SPRINGS, CA - JANUARY 02: Musician Pharrell Williams and Helen Lasichanh arrive at the 28th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Film Awards Gala at Palm Springs Convention Center on January 2, 2017 in Palm Springs, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 08: Helen Lasichanh and Pharrell Williams attend the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 8, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Venturelli/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 28: Pharrell Williams, Helen Lasichanh arrives at the 28th Annual Producers Guild Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 28, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 22: Singer Pharrell Williams and Helen Lasichanh attend Chanel Dinner Celebrating N 5 L'Eau at the Sunset Tower Hotel on September 22, 2016 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
Helen Lasichanh and Pharrell Williams attend the Chanel show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2016/2017 on March 8, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Stephane Cardinale/Corbis via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Recording artist Pharrell Williams and Helen Lasichanh arrive at the 2016 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 28, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Recording artist Pharrell Williams (L) and Helen Lasichanh attend the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 01: Pharrell Williams and Helen Lasichanh attend the 2015 CFDA Awards at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center on June 1, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 01: Pharrell Williams, Helen Lasichanh, Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West attend the 2015 CFDA Awards at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center on June 1, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
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Happy,” a song that emits the feeling of happiness and includes lyrics like, “Here come bad news, talk this and that / Well, give me all you got, and don’t hold back / Well, I should probably warn you I’ll be just fine / No offense to you, don’t waste your time / Here’s why / Because I’m happy,” is in stark contrast to the feelings of the day following the tragic shooting.

This is not Trump’s first brush with a cease and desist from musicians. Steven Tyler, Prince’s estate, R.E.M., and Queen have all sent the President requests to cease and desist from using their iconic music during rallies.

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