Backstreet Boys: Donald Trump Using Song Is NOT Approved
Trump held a rally in Ocala, Florida on Wednesday. Like at all such stops, music played over loudspeakers before the presidential candidate took the stage. And this time, the set list included the Backstreet Boys’ hit, “I Want It That Way.”
The popular song was released in 1999 as the lead single from the boy band’s third album, Millennium. A number-one hit across the globe, it remains one of the Backstreet Boys’ most recognized tracks. Now, for reasons unknown, it played at least three times at Trump’s event today.
The Backstreet Boys, however, don’t want it that way. A rep for the group says in a statement, “BSB did not approve this and we are not associated with the Trump camp.” At least not associated by choice.
Generally, music acts do not have to give explicit approval for Trump to use their songs. As many other performers have discovered after they, too, objected to their songs being played at his events, the Republican nominee is entitled to add any track to his playlist so long as the campaign pays for the rights for it to be used at public assemblies.
These public performance licenses are typically managed by ASCAP and BMI, and don’t involve the actual artists behind the music giving approval. One person who learned this the hard way was Steven Tyler, who fought Trump over “Dream On” almost exactly a year ago.