Leonard Cohen’s Estate, Publisher Respond After Fans Left Furious As ‘Hallelujah’ Is Played Twice At The Republican National Convention

Leonard Cohen fans were not impressed Thursday after his song “Hallelujah” was played twice during the Republican National Convention.

The late Canadian musician’s song was played after Donald Trump’s speech, with Tori Kelly’s version also being used during the fireworks.

Variety claimed the track was “sandwiched right between ‘She’s a Grand Old Flag’ and Lee Greenwood’s ‘God Bless the USA’ as pyrotechnics spelled out ‘TRUMP’ and ‘2020’ over the Washington mall.”

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Kelly then responded to her song being played on Twitter in a since-deleted post.

The singer wrote, “Seeing messages about my version of ‘Hallelujah’. All I know is neither myself nor my team received a request.”

Cohen passed away at age 82 the day before the 2016 election.

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Representatives from Leonard Cohen’s estate and Sony ATV Music Publishing both issued statements to ET Canada.

“We are surprised and dismayed that the RNC would proceed knowing that the Cohen Estate had specifically declined the RNC’s use request, and their rather brazen attempt to politicize and exploit in such an egregious manner ‘Hallelujah’, one of the most important songs in the Cohen song catalogue. We are exploring our legal options,” said Michelle L. Rice, legal representative of the late singer’s estate. “Had the RNC requested another song, ‘You Want it Darker’, for which Leonard won a posthumous Grammy in 2017, we might have considered approval of that song.”

“On the eve of the finale of the convention, representatives from the Republican National Committee contacted us regarding obtaining permission for a live performance of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah’. We declined their request,” stated  Brian J. Monaco, president and global chief marketing officer of Sony/ATV Music Publishing.

Meanwhile, some social media users pointed out the track was a break-up song, while others insisted Cohen “stood against everything” Trump represents. See more of the reaction to his track being played at the RNC below.

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15 Dazzling Covers Of Leonard Cohen Songs
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