WASHINGTON D.C. — Utah-based music group The Piano Guys drew some backlash after their performance for Donald Trump’s Inaugural Ball included versions of other artist’s work, including a song used at many Hillary Clinton rallies during the 2016 election.
During Friday night’s Inaugural Ball, the Piano Guys played a mash-up of “Amazing Grace” and “Fight Song”, the latter of which is by Rachel Platten and has been used at several Clinton rallies. CNN referred to the song as the “Clinton campaign’s signature song” in a tweet that included video of the mash-up.
Platten posted a pair of tweets to make it clear she was not notified that her work would be used during the Inaugural Ball.
“While I respect the office of the President and the peaceful transfer of power, I want to make clear that at at (sic) no point did the Piano Guys ask for permission, nor did I or anyone on my team know of, approve or endorse their decision to play Fight Song tonight”
The Piano Guys responded on Twitter, acknowledging Platten did not endorse the use of her song.
“Our performance tonight, which combined “Fight Song” and “Amazing Grace” had nothing to do with Hillary Clinton or politics….We chose to perform our version of “Fight Song/Amazing Grace” – it was not endorsed by Rachel Platten. We love Rachel and we love her song.”
Platten wasn’t the only one to speak out about the Piano Guys’ use of other artist’s songs during the event. Savan Kotecha, who wrote One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful”, also expressed displeasure on Twitter and even mentioned the possibility of legal action.
“They were absolutely NOT given permission to use WMYB at the inaugural ball. I will be looking into taking action.” Kotecha tweeted.
He later added in two tweets: There’s nothing I can do re WMYB now, but the song was written out of love for my wife. It’s just heartbreaking that it was used to celebrated a man who stands for divisiveness.”