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R.E.M. issues statements against the use of its music for political campaigns

By Marilyn Malara
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R.E.M. issues statements against the use of its music for political campaigns
Republican Candidate for President of the United States Donald Trump speaks at the Tea Party Patriots' Rally Against the Iran Deal in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington DC, Sept. 9, 2015. File Photo by Molly Riley/UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- New wave rock band R.E.M. did not approve of Donald Trump's use of their song during a rally against President Obama and the nuclear deal with Iran.

The presidential hopeful appeared alongside fellow candidate Ted Cruz and public figures Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck in Washington, D.C. Wednesday to speak against the deal. During the introductions, Trump walked on stage to R.E.M.'s 1987 song "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)."

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After the rally, the band's frontman Michael Stipe spoke against the decision through bassist Mike Mills' Twitter page. "Go [expletive] yourselves, the lot of you -- you sad, attention-grabbing, power-hungry little men," he said. "Do not use our music or my voice for your moronic charade of a campaign."

Later, the band released another collective statement on its official Facebook page, pushing fans to see past the excitement of media politics.

"While we do not authorize or condone the use of our music at this political event, and do ask that these candidates cease and desist from doing so, let us remember that there are things of greater importance at stake here," the statement read. "The media and the American voter should focus on the bigger picture, and not allow grandstanding politicians to distract us from the pressing issues of the day and of the current presidential campaign."

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"While we do not authorize or condone the use of our music at this political event, and do ask that these candidates...

Posted by R.E.M. on Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The news comes just hours after rock band Survivor expressed its disapproval of Kentucky clerk Kim Davis and presidential Mike Huckabee's use of "Eye of the Tiger" during an event.

"I do not like mixing rock and roll with politics; they do not go hand in hand," the song's co-writer, Frankie Sullivan said. "What upset me most was that, once again, my song was being used to further a political agenda -- and no one even bothered to ask for permission."

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