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16 May, 2023 14:07

Village People demand that Trump stop using their music

A viral video emerged last week of Donald Trump dancing to a Village People song at his Florida estate
Village People demand that Trump stop using their music

Village People, the disco act best known for 1970s hits like ‘YMCA’ and ‘Macho Man,’ has issued Donald Trump with a cease and desist order to stop using the band’s music at political events without express permission, according to a legal filing. The former US president has frequently played Village People songs at campaign rallies throughout his political career.

Last week, a video emerged online showing Trump dancing to a Village People tribute act during a poolside dinner at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida – leading to the band’s management issuing Trump with a legal request to abstain from using Village People intellectual property at any future events.

“The performance [in the viral video] has, and continues to cause public confusion as to why Village People would engage in such a performance. We did not,” wrote the band’s manager Karen Willis, the wife of singer Victor Willis.

Willis added that Trump’s use of Village People music was previously “tolerated” by the band but that it has decided to issue legal proceedings to prevent further use of its popular songs, for fear that it could be construed as an “endorsement” of Trump’s political ambitions. She also explained that the video had created confusion among fans who mistakenly thought that the real Village People had performed at Trump’s Florida estate.

Trump’s legal team has issued a withering response to the band’s cease and desist request. Attorney Joe Tacopinca told TMZ on Monday that, “I will only deal with the attorney of the Village People, if they have one, not the wife of one of the members. But they 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.” 

Village People music, particularly the song ‘Macho Man’, has been a regular soundtrack to Donald Trump’s political rallies in recent years.

Singer Victor Willis indicated in a post on social media two years ago that while Village People music is intended to be “all-inclusive,” its use by Trump has been problematic. “We’d prefer our music be kept out of politics,” he wrote in February 2020. Willis later requested that Trump stop using his band’s music in June 2020, following reports that then-President Trump intended to use the US military to stamp out Black Lives Matter demonstrations across the United States.

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