United States rapper Eminem has asked Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, a multimillionaire former biotech executive, to not use his music during his campaign.
Ramaswamy is enjoying a surge in the Republican primary race, and a video of him rapping along to Eminem’s Lose Yourself at the Iowa State Fair went viral this month.
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In the letter disclosed on Monday and dated August 23, BMI, a performing rights organisation, informed Ramaswamy’s campaign at the Grammy-winning rapper’s request that it will no longer licence Eminem’s music for use by Ramaswamy’s campaign.
“BMI has received a communication from Marshall B. Mathers, III, professionally known as Eminem, objecting to the Vivek Ramaswamy campaign’s use of Eminem’s musical composition (the “Eminem Works”) and requesting that BMI remove all Eminem Works from the Agreement,” BMI said in the letter first reported by the Daily Mail newspaper.
Ramaswamy’s campaign told CNN it will comply with the request. The 38-year-old businessman with no political experience has been rising in some opinion polls and has branded his rivals as “bought and paid for”.
The tech entrepreneur last week was at the centre of many of the most dramatic moments of the first Republican primary debate.
Ramaswamy, a defender of former US President Donald Trump, faced plenty of incoming fire from his more experienced rivals, who appeared to view him as more of a threat than Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who has been trailing Trump at a distant second for a long time in Republican primary polls.
Trump, the overwhelming frontrunner, skipped last week’s debate.
During the past two US presidential elections, well-known artists – including Pharrell Williams, Rihanna, Aerosmith and Adele as well as heirs of Prince – complained that their songs were played at Trump rallies without their permission.
The Rolling Stones even threatened to sue if the Trump campaign continued to use the British group’s classic hit You Can’t Always Get What You Want.