Atlanta Music Scene

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Watch: John Oliver invites Usher, Josh Groban, Cyndi Lauper to rail against politicians for unauthorized song use

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Last week, Queen pointedly told the Donald Trump campaign to back off after the Republican candidate used the band’s “We are the Champions” as the backdrop to his arrival onstage at the Republican National Convention.

Even though the song might have been licensed – and therefore its usage didn’t infringe on any copyrights – many artists have publicly taken exception at their work being used in campaigns that don’t align with their political beliefs.

On Sunday’s episode of “Last Week Tonight,” host John Oliver delivered a hilariously scathing scolding at this practice – the Queen kerfuffle probably killed frontman Freddie Mercury all over again, he joked – but Oliver had a solution.

He invited artists including Atlanta’s Usher, Cyndi Lauper, Josh Groban, Heart, Michael Bolton, Sheryl Crow and an amusingly tune-less cat to join for a song and video called “Don’t Use Our Songs.”

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“Don’t use our song/it might seem appealing, but you’re just stealing,” goes one verse, while Groban belts out this gem, “If I wanted to sing and not get paid, I’d be on Spotify.”

Take a listen to the anthem against unauthorized song use (note: language in Oliver’s lead-up to the video).

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About the Author

Atlanta Journal-Constitution staff writer Melissa Ruggieri covers the Atlanta Music Scene and entertainment news for print and online.

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