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Posted: November 05, 2018

Rihanna wants Trump to stop playing her songs at 'tragic rallies'

Rihanna Turned Down Super Bowl Halftime Show in Solidarity with Colin Kaepernick

By Michelle Ewing, Cox Media Group National Content Desk


Pop star Rihanna has a special message for President Donald Trump: Stop playing my music at your rallies.

Hours after tweeting her support for Democrat Andrew Gillum in the Florida governor's race, the Grammy Award-winning singer learned that one of her songs was playing at a Trump rally in Chattanooga, Tennessee – and wasn't pleased.

>> Pharrell Williams threatens to sue Trump over use of ‘Happy’ at rally after synagogue massacre

It all started when the Washington Post's Philip Rucker shared the following tweet from the rally: 

"It’s been said a million times, but here’s a million and one — Trump’s rallies are unlike anything else in politics," he wrote. "Currently, Rihanna’s 'Don’t Stop the Music' is blaring in Chattanooga as aides toss free Trump T-shirts into the crowd, like a ball game. Everyone’s loving it."

>> See Rucker's tweet here

Everyone except Rihanna, that is.

"Not for much longer ... me nor my people would ever be at or around one of these tragic rallies, so thanks for the heads up philip," she replied.

>> See Rihanna's tweet here

>> Read more trending news 

Rihanna isn't the first musician to fire back at Trump over his song selections. Just last week, Pharrell Williams threatened to sue the president for playing "Happy" at a rally held the same day as the deadly Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, USA Today reported.


Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Diamond Ball

Possible break-in reported at Rihanna's Los Angeles home

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Diamond Ball

Possible break-in reported at Rihanna's Los Angeles home

Rihanna speaks onstage during Rihanna's 4th annual Diamond Ball benefitting The Clara Lionel Foundation at Cipriani Wall Street on Sept. 13, 2018, in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Diamond Ball)

Pharrell Williams threatens to sue Trump over use of ‘Happy’ at rally after synagogue massacre

Pharrell Williams is threatening to sue the president unless organizers of President Donald Trump’s rallies stop using his song “Happy.”

The singer’s attorney sent a cease and desist letter to the president to stop playing his song, according to CNN

It was played hours after a deadly shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue left 11 dead, CNN reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Howard King wrote, according to CNN

“On the day of the mass murder of 11 human beings at the hands of a deranged ‘nationalist,’ you played the song ‘Happy’ to a crowd at a political event in Indiana. There was nothing ‘happy’ about the tragedy inflicted upon our country on Saturday and no permission was granted for your use of this song for this purpose.”

King alleges that the use of the song without the consent of Williams goes against copyright and trademark.

“Pharrell has not, and will not, grant you permission to publicly perform or otherwise broadcast or disseminate any of his music,” King wrote in the letter, Time reported.

Trump and his administration have also received letters from other groups including The Rolling Stones, Steven Tyler and Adele, CNN reported.

Midterm elections 2018: Trump makes final push for Kemp in Georgia governor's race

President Donald Trump on Sunday urged Georgians to support Brian Kemp for governor, calling the Republican a “great leader” who would help advance the administration’s agenda and prevent Democrat Stacey Abrams from turning the state “into Venezuela.”

>> Watch the news report here

Trump cast Tuesday’s gubernatorial vote as a referendum on the “extraordinary prosperity that we’ve created” to a crowd of thousands arrayed in a cramped airport hangar outside Macon.

“Will we let the Democrats take a giant wrecking ball to our economy and our future?” he asked the supporters, who roared in disapproval. “It can be destroyed very quickly. That’s why you have to get to the polls very quickly.”

>> On PHOTOS: Donald Trump campaigns with Brian Kemp

And he touted Kemp, the current secretary of state, as a candidate who would reinforce his administration’s decisions from Atlanta.

“I know Brian. This guy doesn’t stop,” he told the crowd. “This is what you want. He’s an incredible manager. He’s been successful all the way up the line. He’ll bring it to heights you wouldn’t believe.”

>> On Former President Obama visits Atlanta to campaign with Stacey Abrams

Trump’s visit comes at a crucial moment in the tumultuous race for Georgia governor, as polls show Kemp and Abrams in a neck-and-neck race to succeed Gov. Nathan Deal. The two have sparred over every major political debate in Georgia, and they have drawn stars from their parties to boost their campaigns.

Kemp hopes he’ll get the biggest bump from Trump, whom his aides believe can motivate voters in a state he won by 5 percentage points — even if it means alienating independent voters who abhor the president. His campaign strategy relies on ratcheting up high turnout in conservative pockets of the state to withstand losses in urban and suburban areas.

He predicted the rally would give him “the momentum we need” to defy polls showing a tight race, and he told the crowd that a vote for him is a vote for Trump.

“We will help,” he said. “We’ll work hard with this president to continue to make America great again.”

The president’s influence among Georgia Republicans is undeniable: More than 91 percent of likely GOP voters said they approved of Trump in the latest Atlanta Journal-Constitution/WSB-TV poll. And Kemp has tied himself to Trump since entering the race, even echoing some of the president’s strategies with his “Georgia First” mantra.

>> Jamie Dupree: Early vote shows clear surge, especially in younger voters

Still, after winning the GOP nomination, Kemp’s been more likely to invoke the past two GOP governors — Deal and Sonny Perdue, now Trump’s secretary of agriculture — on the campaign trail than the president. But at this late stage in the race, his campaign aims to wring out as many Trump supporters as it can.

Abrams has long avoided directly attacking Trump, wary of turning the race into a referendum on the president and energizing his GOP supporters. But she said Sunday in a televised appearance that his attacks describing her as “unqualified” are “vapid and shallow.”

“I am the most qualified candidate,” she said, citing her Yale Law School education and legislative and business background. “There is no one more qualified standing for this office in Georgia. And I look forward to having the voters of Georgia say the same.”

‘Very nervous’

Trump was welcomed by many of the state’s top elected GOP officials, including Deal, Perdue and the ag chief’s first cousin, U.S. Sen. David Perdue. Thousands of Trump fans wearing red “Make America Great Again” hats crowded the stage, many holding signs saying “Jobs vs. Mobs” and “Promises Made. Promises Kept.”

Among the throngs was Rose Brown, a Middle Georgia nurse who said the president’s tax-cut plan has reinforced her support for Republican candidates. She worries that Democrats will work to undercut those cuts.

>> Jamie Dupree: White House touts gains in final pre-election jobs report

“Socialists and Democrats do not understand that the government gets its money by taking it from the paychecks of working people,” she said.

Ditto for Lee Mitchell, a 60-year-old letter carrier from outside of Culloden. He said he’s “very nervous” going into Tuesday’s vote.

“I’m very much hoping that Kemp’s going to win and that we hold onto the House — because if we don’t, everything is going to stall,” he said.

The apex

In a speech that stretched for more than an hour, Trump addressed red-meat issues such as illegal immigration, Hillary Clinton and Democrats’ treatment of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

But the president returned repeatedly to attacks on Democrats centering on three themes: public safety, economic development and health care.

He warned that Democratic opposition would damage economic gains over the past two years, and he said Abrams’ victory would trigger more crime.

“She’ll make your schools and neighborhoods unsafe,” he said, “and make your jobs disappear like magic.”

>> Jamie Dupree: Trump roils final campaign stretch – for both parties

Abrams initially wanted to reverse a state income tax hike, but she has since reversed her stance. And she’s cast her plan to eliminate cash bail and decriminalize some drug offenses as an extension of Deal’s legacy, which has diverted more nonviolent offenders from costly prison cells.

And she warns that Kemp’s support of “religious liberty” will tarnish the state’s pro-business reputation, often invoking the governor’s veto of such legislation.

Trump’s visit was the apex of a gubernatorial race that has unfolded over the past two-plus years and brought multiple presidents and a parade of potential 2020 hopefuls to the state to campaign for Abrams, who is seeking to become the nation’s first black female governor.

>> Read more trending news 

Abrams has attracted a string of leading high-profile figures to campaign with her, including media icon Oprah Winfrey and former President Barack Obama in the closing stretch. As he closed, Kemp was eager to mention a list of big-name supporters that included Vice President Mike Pence and two Georgia football legends.

“We’ve got Trump, Pence, Vince Dooley and Herschel Walker,” Kemp said, “to help us make a goal-line stop.”

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