A member of the 1980s band Survivor has asked Nikki Haley to stop using his music in her campaign. The Republican presidential contender launched her campaign on February 15 with the hit song “Eye of the Tiger,” but the song’s co-writer objected to the music’s usage as a political tactic.
This isn’t the first time Frankie Sullivan has taken a stand against a politician over the song, which became an overnight phenomenon as the theme for the “Rocky” franchise and earned an Academy Award nomination. Previously, the co-writer issued cease and desist letters against Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, and Mitt Romney, and he was successful in all three cases. Donald Trump sought to use the song as well, but accepted the writer’s request to stop playing it at his rallies, avoiding the need for legal action.
Eye of the Tiger co-writer tells Nikki Haley to STOP using the song she played at the launch of her presidential bid – after he won cases against Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich— 🌻Lena 🙏🇺🇦🌎 ☮️🙏 (@My_corner_table) February 15, 2023
via https://t.co/A2pnyl7ecy https://t.co/S5TMvdUReL
Sullivan claims he is not targeting anyone specifically based on their politics, claiming that he simply does not want politicians to use his music. He told the Daily Mail that campaigners may create their own theme songs.
Illegal music use among candidates is nothing new. The music business can recall numerous instances when politicians utilized — and then removed — songs during their campaigns. According to the Current, Neil Young, The Rolling Stones, Leonard Cohen, and R.E.M. all sued Trump for playing their music. According to an insider, Dr. Dre asked that Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) remove his music from her political platform. Sting sued both George W. Bush and Al Gore, ABBA sued John McCain, and Sam Moore urged Barack Obama not to use his music during the 44th president’s campaign. The list goes on and on.
Nikki Haley’s campaign may be without a theme tune for the time being, but the 51-year-old Republican has struck the ground running with jabs at both Biden’s and Trump’s increasing ages. During her speech, she declared that the country was not past its prime, but that “our politicians are past theirs.”