Even before they started handing out trophies during the Emmy Awards telecast last night, Prince fans were doling out tweets lambasting Capital One and the singer’s estate for using “Let’s Go Crazy” in a new TV commercial campaign for the credit card company.
The first commercial aired during the pre-show telecast, and the first shocked and angry reactions on Twitter followed just seconds later. The commercials -- which show various scenes of people joyously charging away, but do not feature any images of Prince -- kept airing during the awards, as did the grievances on Twitter.
Most fans agreed Prince himself never would have approved the use of his original recording in the ads. Some fans pointed a finger at his family for selling him out. Many fans suggested he was rolling over in his grave. One even suggested that was a good thing – “it might annoy him so much that he gets right up out of his grave and comes back to life.”
Even a former attorney for the estate who also worked for Prince, Londell McMillan – who himself was criticized for some of the deals he made on behalf of the estate – took to Twitter to voice his discontent with this commercial, not the first national TV campaign to feature Prince’s music but the most questionable one. McMillan’s tweet read, “Prince would have never approved that “Let’s Go Crazy” license to a bank Capital One. #Disrespectful”
To be fair, licensing decisions such as this commercial are left up to the former Spotify and record-company executive hired by Comerica to manage Prince’s estate, Troy Carter. It’s very possible the singer’s family had little input in the decision. However, family members continue to rack up millions of dollars in attorneys fees, and they still face a massive estate tax, so the money is needed -- all due in large part to the still mind-boggling fact that Prince did not leave a will.
Still, it seems rather unanimous these Capital One commercials go entirely against his will. Local Twitter star Chris Steller (@Chris_Stellar) also made the rather astute observation, “Prince sacrilege aside, ‘Let’s Go Crazy’ is a terrible message for a credit card commercial.”
Here are some of the more colorful and vehement reactions to the commercial on Twitter (the PG-rated ones, anyway).
Capital One using a Prince song the newest, but far from the only, reason to cut up your Capital One card.— TheDesignFlaw (@TheDesignFlaw) September 18, 2018
Live footage of Prince finding out that his music was used in a Capital One commercial: pic.twitter.com/seT0oCkRhs— Can't Outrun Michael Vick (@JandelleH) September 18, 2018
Seriously, Capital One, if you ruined Prince for the next generation (like Lee Jeans ruined Do Right Woman for ours for a decade) you will have literal hell to pay. (I’m not against music in popular commercials but come on)— Jamie Perez (@jamiegp) September 18, 2018
I'm in favor of using Prince music in a Capital One commercial only because it might annoy him so much that he gets right up out of his grave and comes back to life.— Jen Chaney (@chaneyj) September 17, 2018
It is weird AF to hear a Prince song on a credit card commercial. I realize the estate gotta make some money, but... pic.twitter.com/CUSKjXJhCm— Lisa Bee (@leebee4life) September 18, 2018
I'll take Prince music wherever and whenever I can get it...but hearing it as the soundtrack to a Capital One commercial is nauseating.— Marcel Walker (@MarcelWalker1) September 18, 2018
I'm glad you didn't have to see that, Your Highness. The beautiful ones always seem to lose out to the greed of commercial America.
On the off chance you were holding out hope that Prince wasn’t actually dead, I am sorry to inform you that I just heard “Let’s Go Crazy” played under a Capital One commercial.— Sean Reynolds (@seanq) September 18, 2018
Prince needs to jump out the grave and snatch bald whoever approved that Capital One ad. What next? P Control playing over a cat food ad? Diamonds and Pearls over a Jared ad? No!!— Odie Henderson (@odienator) September 18, 2018
Prince would have never approved that “Let’s Go Crazy” license to a bank Capital One. #Disrespectful— L Londell McMillan (@LondellMcMillan) September 18, 2018