Leonard Cohen’s Estate Denounces Republicans’ Use of “Hallelujah” as Attempted Politicization


FILE PHOTO: Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen performs at the 2008 Glastonbury Festival in Somerset, southwest England, June 29, 2008. REUTERS / Luke MacGregor

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Leonard Cohen’s estate said on Friday it was considering legal action over the use of Canadian singer “Hallelujah” at the Republican National Convention (RNC), calling it a brazen attempt to politicize the song .

A recording of Tori Kelly’s “Hallelujah” was played during a fireworks display Thursday night that followed President Donald Trump’s acceptance speech for the Republican nomination.

A second, more lyrical version was performed in front of the camera by the American tenor Christopher Macchio.

Cohen’s estate said in a statement they were “surprised and appalled” that the song was used, saying they specifically rejected the RNC’s request to do so.

He said he was exploring legal options and called the RNC’s decision a “rather brazen attempt to politicize and so blatantly exploit ‘Hallelujah,” one of the most important songs in the songbook. by Cohen. ”

“If the RNC had requested another song, ‘You Want it Darker,’ for which Leonard won a posthumous Grammy in 2017, we might have considered approving that song,” the statement added.

Cohen died in 2016 at the age of 82 after a late career resumption. “Hallelujah”, first released in 1984, has become her most played song.

The use of the song has dismayed Cohen fans on social media and followed a pattern of unauthorized pop songs at Trump events and rallies.

The Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Tom Petty, Rihanna, Elton John, Adele and Queen are among dozens of musicians who have issued cease and desist letters or have spoken out against the use of their music at Trump rallies.

Reportage de Jill Serjeant

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