Donald Trump now using Village People’s ‘Y.M.C.A.’ at rallies after Rolling Stones threaten legal action

The Stones have no sympathy for the devil

Donald Trump is no longer using The Rolling Stones‘ ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’ to soundtrack the end of his campaign rallies.

That’s according to NBC News‘ Kelly O’Donnell, who tweeted on Friday (August 21) that the US President has opted for The Village People‘s ‘YMCA’ since being threatened with legal action by the Stones. The British rockers had issued multiple cease and desist directives demanding him to not use their music.

“Now that I have seen it a few times at various events, clearly The Village People’s ‘YMCA’ is now the walk-off song for the president replacing the Rolling Stones’ ‘You can’t always get what you want’,” O’Donnell wrote.


Victor Willis, the band leader of Village People, echoed the Stones’ feelings about Trump using his band’s music.

In June, Willis wrote publicly via Facebook to Trump: “I ask that you no longer use any of my music at your rallies, especially ‘Y.M.C.A.’ and ‘Macho Man’,” following the George Floyd protests and Black Lives Matter marches. “Sorry, but I can no longer look the other way.”

Donald Trump
Donald Trump. CREDIT: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Trump played The Rolling Stones songs including ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’ and ‘Start Me Up’ during his 2016 rallies, causing the Stones to follow in the footsteps of AdeleNeil Young and Steven Tyler to request that he stop. However, Trump continued to use the music as his campaign continued.

After winning the election and being sworn in as US President in 2017, Trump walked on stage at his inauguration concert to the band’s 1965 song ‘Heart Of Stone’.


According to a press release at the time, The Stones’ legal team set about working with BMI, the world’s biggest performing rights organisation, to prevent Trump from being able to play their music at any future political events.

The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones (Picture: Getty)

In June 2020, BMI notified Trump’s campaign that any unauthorised use of The Rolling Stones’ music would constitute a breach of its licensing agreement. Should Trump continue to ignore the band and organisation’s warnings, he would face a lawsuit “for breaking the embargo and playing music that has not been licensed”. It appears the threat has worked.

In other news, the Stones are opening their own shop on London’s Carnaby Street next month. Described as the band’s “world-first flagship store”, ‘RS No.9’ — which will be located on 9 Carnaby Street — will open its doors in central London on September 9.

RS No.9 will feature “exclusive collaborations, new fashion and merchandise”, as well as stocking the band’s extensive music catalogue and latest releases. Items will also be available to purchase online.

“More than just a store, RS No.9 will be a fully immersive experience for fans of all ages,” a press release promises. Fans are being pointed towards the newly created ‘RS No.9’ Instagram account for more information about the shop going forward.