Stop Using My Song: 35 Artists Who Fought Politicians Over Their Music

From Springsteen vs. Reagan to Neil Young vs. the Donald

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Sam Moore vs. Barack Obama
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Lili Claire, Dennis Brack-Pool/Getty Images30/35

Sam Moore vs. Barack Obama

When: 2008
Song: "Hold On, I'm Comin'"
Controversy: In a rare instance of a Democratic candidate being asked to cease and desist from using a song, Moore – the tenor voice in R&B duo Sam and Dave – asked Obama to stop playing "Hold On, I'm Comin'" at rallies (where audience members sang, "Hold on, Obama's comin'"). The singer wrote, "I have not agreed to endorse you for the highest office in our land. . . . My vote is a very private matter between myself and the ballot box." He added, however, that he found it "thrilling" to see a man of color run for the presidency.
Result: The Obama team stopped using the song, and all was apparently forgiven. The following year, Moore performed with Sting and Elvis Costello at an inaugural ball for the newly elected president. And in 2013, he played at the White House as part of a PBS music series.

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