The popularity of the Village People is still standing today with four letters, YMCA.
Former President Donald Trump has been warned somebody “can stop the music” if the 45th president doesn’t cease hiring Village People impersonators to provide entertainment at his Mar-a-Lago parties.
The 1970’s disco band’s manager, Karen Willis, who’s also married to lead singer Victor Willis, sent Trump’s legal team a cease and desist on Monday requesting that Trump stop having look-a-like cover bands perform at the ex-president’s events, according to Vanity Fair.
The move comes after a video of performers singing “Macho Man” at Trump’s Florida residence went viral, which Willis says is in violation of the Lanham Act, according to the publication.
“Since that time we have been inundated with social media posts about the imitation performance [which] many fans, and the public as well, mistakenly believe to be that of the actual VILLAGE PEOPLE,” she wrote.
While Willis said in the letter that Village People have so far tolerated Trump’s use of their songs at his events and campaign rallies, if the former president refuses to stop using the band’s image in connection to its music, it “will be forced to bring suit preventing further use, not only of Village People trademarked image and trade dress, but of the music as well.”
Joe Tacopina, Trump’s lawyer, took aim at the band’s fall from fame in response, telling TMZ that Village People “should be thankful that President Trump allowed them to get their name back in the press. I haven’t heard their name in decades. Glad to hear they are still around,” according to the publication.
Trump, who enjoys starting and beginning his campaign rallies with a signature jig set to music that involves fist pumping, head bobbing and clapping (sometimes to the beat) has been sent multiple cease and desist orders by well-known bands over the years, including John Fogerty, Linkin Park, Elton John and The Rolling Stones.
In 2016, Trump used Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” for his presidential campaign, which the co-songwriter Frank Sullivan criticized the move that used at the Trump rallies.
“Eye of the Tiger” was created as theme song for the Rocky III, starring Sylvester Stallone. The song was also used at Nikki Haley’s presidential campaign as well.
Elton John’s songs “Tiny Dancer” and “Rocket Man” were used at Trump’s 2016 campaigns.
“I don’t really want my music to be involved in anything to do with an American election campaign. I’m British,” John said. “I’ve met Donald Trump, he was very nice to me, it’s nothing personal, his political views are his own, mine are very different. I’m not a Republican in a million years.”
Other political campaigns have used songs at rallies with no permission in place from the candidates to the artists.
Produced in association with Benzinga
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