Prince’s estate responded quickly Thursday night when President Donald Trump played “Purple Rain” at a rally in the singer’s home state of Minnesota, issuing a tweet suggesting that the president’s campaign reneged on a promise to not use the late R&B star’s music at future events.
“President Trump played Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’ tonight at a campaign event in Minneapolis despite confirming a year ago that the campaign would not use Prince’s music. The Prince Estate will never give permission to President Trump to use Prince’s songs,” read the tweet, which included a semi-redacted letter from 2018 in which a legal representative for Trump’s campaign at the law firm Jones Day agreed the re-election campaign would no longer play Prince songs.
“Without admitting liability, and to avoid any future dispute, we write to confirm that the Campaign will not use Prince’s music in connection with its activities going forward,” says the year-old letter.
Megan Newton, the lawyer whose letter was posted, did not immediately respond to request for comment, nor did the president’s re-election campaign.
Earlier this month, Twitter removed a video meme posted by Trump that featured Canadian rock band Nickelback on for violating its copyright rules after Warner Music filed a copyright complaint. It pulled the clip less than 24 hours after the president tweeted it.
US artist singer and songwriter Prince performs on stage during his concert in Antwerp Sportpaleis, on November 8, 2010. AFP PHOTO /BELGA PHOTO DIRK WAEM (DIRK WAEM/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 19: Prince presents the award for British Female Solo Artist at The BRIT Awards 2014 at 02 Arena on February 19, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 19: Prince and Ida Nielsen, Hannah Ford Welton and Donna Grantis of his band 3rdEyeGirl present an award at The BRIT Awards 2014 at The O2 Arena on February 19, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/Redferns via Getty Images)
Prince Rogers Nelson is better known as just Prince and is pictured where is spends a lot of his time; on concert stage around the world. Denmark 2013. (Photo by: PYMCA/UIG via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 19: Recording artist Prince performs during the 2013 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 19, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 22: Singer Mary J. Blige (L) and recording artist Prince perform onstage during the 2012 iHeartRadio Music Festival at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on September 22, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Clear Channel)
LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 22: Recording artist Prince (L) and singer Mary J. Blige perform onstage during the 2012 iHeartRadio Music Festival at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on September 22, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for Clear Channel)