- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Legendary rock group Queen and its publishing company say Donald Trump didn’t get permission to use “We Are the Champions” for his bombastic entrance late Monday at the Republican National Convention.

The mogul wowed the Cleveland audience with his entrance, which paired the singalong anthem with grand lighting effects, ahead of a speech by his wife, Melania.

But the British rockers who performed the tune weren’t amused, saying it was a repeat offense by Mr. Trump and needs to stop.

“An unauthorised use at the Republican Convention against our wishes — Queen,” the band said on its official Twitter account.

The Trump campaign already had used “We Are the Champions” earlier this year, prompting guitarist Brian May to complain on his personal website.

On Tuesday the company that manages the publishing rights for the song blasted the campaign for brushing aside its requests to stop.

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“Sony/ATV Music Publishing has never been asked by Mr. Trump, the Trump campaign or the Trump Organization for permission to use ‘We are the Champions’ by Queen,” the company said in a prepared statement. “On behalf of the band, we are frustrated by the repeated unauthorized use of the song after a previous request to desist, which has obviously been ignored by Mr. Trump and his campaign.

“Queen does not want its music associated with any mainstream or political debate in any country,” it continued. “Nor does Queen want ‘We are the Champions’ to be used as an endorsement of Mr. Trump and the political views of the Republican Party. We trust, hope and expect that Mr. Trump and his campaign will respect these wishes moving forward.”

A spokesman for the Republican National Convention did not have an immediate comment on the issue, but said he would check on the matter.

On Monday, the song played before and after Mrs. Trump gave her highly anticipated speech to the crowd at Quicken Loans Arena.

That speech is already causing a dust-up after reports surfaced online of similarities between part of Mrs. Trump’s speech and part of Michelle Obama’s speech at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

Mr. Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, said Tuesday that Mrs. Trump used “common words” in her speech. The notion that she cribbed from Mrs. Obama, he said, was “crazy” and “absurd.”

Mr. Trump has repeatedly landed in hot water with pop stars for his use of songs on the campaign trail since the day he declared his candidacy last June at an event in New York City where he played Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World.”

“Donald Trump was not authorized to use ‘Rockin’ In The Free World’ in his presidential candidacy announcement,” Mr. Young’s management company said in a statement that same day. “Neil Young, a Canadian citizen, is a supporter of Bernie Sanders for President of the United States of America.”

Twister Sister frontman Dee Snider later asked Mr. Trump to stop using his group’s 1984 smash “We’re Not Gonna Take It” on the campaign trial over ideological differences, and R.E.M. singer Michael Stipe tweeted “Go [expletive] yourself” when the Trump campaign adopted his group’s alternative rock anthem “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine).”

⦁ Andrew Blake contributed to this report.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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