Video footage of audience members waving their hands to “Purple Rain” at one of President Trump’s rallies apparently raised a red flag from some members of Prince’s estate, who issued a statement Thursday night asking that “they cease all use immediately.”
The statement, sent out via Twitter, read, “The Prince Estate has never given permission to President Trump or the White House to use Prince’s songs and have requested that they cease all use immediately.”
The message was reportedly sent on behalf of the estate by longtime Prince associate Jeremiah Freed, aka Dr. Funkenberry, and it was retweeted by Prince’s brother, Omarr Baker. It was sent in reaction to the Trump rally in Mississippi last week, not this week’s event in Pennsylvania.
Footage shown on Fox News and CNN captured the moment the song was played, which sparked a blowback last week. Anil Dash, founder of the tech company Glitch and a royal Prince fan, tweeted, “Alright, Prince estate: nobody has more experience shutting down misuses of an artist’s work than you do. You got this.”
When he was alive, Prince himself was notorious for having his team shut down unauthorized use of his music seemingly any and every time it came to light. He also staunchly avoided wading into political campaigns, aside from addressing certain hot-button political issues ranging from nuclear escalation in the ‘80s (“Ronnie Talk to Russia”) to police shootings of young black men in the ‘10s (“Baltimore”).
As one Prince fan noted in reaction to the statement issued Thursday night, “This makes perfect sense as he was completely neutral with regard to political affairs.”