Isaac Hayes Estate Exploring Legal Action after Donald Trump Plays Unauthorized Song at Campaign Launch

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Donald Trump announced his third bid for presidency, officially launching his campaign for the 2024 race to the White House on Tuesday night (Nov. 15), and ruffled some feathers in the process. Especially, those belonging to the estate of the late Isaac Hayes.

The former President played the Sam & Dave hit, “Hold On, I’m Coming,” at the event. A song written by Hayes and David Porter in 1966, the late songwriter’s estate took notice and, in turn, took action.

“Once again, The estate and family of Isaac Hayes DID NOT approve the use of ‘Hold on I’m coming’ by Sam and Dave by Donald Trump at his 2024 Presidential announcement tonight,” the estate wrote in a post on Twitter. “We are exploring multiple legal options to stop this unauthorized use.”

The tweet was followed by another from the estate, reading, “Stopping a politician from using your music is not always an easy task, but we are dedicated to making sure that Donald Trump does not continue to use ‘Hold on I’m Coming’ written by Isaac Hayes [and] David Porter in further rallies and public appearances.”

This wasn’t the first time Trump used the Sam & Dave classic for his own gain. In May, the former President used the song to soundtrack his appearance at a National Rifle Association convention. The Hayes estate released a statement then, saying, “The estate and family of Isaac Hayes DID NOT approve and would NEVER approve the use of “Hold on I’m coming” by Sam and Dave by Donald Trump at this weekends @NRA convention.”

The event occurred only a week after the Uvalde school shooting, and the estate added, “Our condolences go out to the victims and families of #Uvalde and mass shooting victims everywhere.”

During his presidential run for the 2016 seat, and during his 2020 campaign, Trump saw backlash from a number of musicians. Adele, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, R.E.M., Aerosmith, Panic! at the Disco, Guns N’ Roses, The Rolling Stones, and Rihanna have objected to having their music associated with the politician. The estates of Leonard Cohen, Tom Petty, Prince, and now Hayes, have all taken issue on behalf of the late artists.

Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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