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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Tom Petty vs. Michele Bachmann, George W. Bush
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Mark Holloway/Redferns via Getty Images, Tim Boyle/Newsmakers13/35

Tom Petty vs. Michele Bachmann, George W. Bush

When: 2011, 2000
Song: "American Girl," "I Won't Back Down"
Controversy: After Republican presidential hopeful Bachmann played Petty's "American Girl" at a rally, Petty immediately sent the campaign a cease-and-desist letter. Eleven years earlier, he also posted a notice to the Bush campaign telling them to stop using "I Won't Back Down."
Result: Despite Petty's letter, the Minnesota congresswoman continued playing the song – including on the day right after receiving the cease-and-desist notice. Bush, however, did back down, and Petty later made his political leanings clear when he performed "I Won't Back Down" at a private concert in Al Gore's home the night of his concession speech. Tipper Gore reportedly played drums.

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