Usher, Imagine Dragons Join John Oliver to Tell Politicians: "Don't Use Our Songs"

Usher, Imagine Dragons Join John Oliver to Tell Politicians: "Don't Use Our Songs"

Time and time again throughout this election season, Republicans have been accused of shamelessly appropriating popular music to soundtrack their grand old parties, without asking for artists' permission or blessing. The Republican National Convention was perhaps one of the worst instances, with as many as five artists clapping back at the GOP for using their music to fill in the awkward silences between politicians' often racist and inflammatory speeches.

Now these ironic thefts have their own patriotic ditty thanks to Sunday's episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. For his show, the host brought together Usher, Cyndi Lauper, Sheryl Crow, Josh Groban, Imagine Dragons and several others to record "Don't Use Our Songs" — a plea for politicians like Donald Trump to cut the crap and find artists who actually agree with his politics to play at his rallies.

Source: YouTube

"We noticed something's wrong, and it's gone on way too long," Usher sings on the chipper tune. "So we're asking you right now: Stop using our songs."

The practice started way before Trump, as Oliver notes in his intro. He digs up instances all the way back in the Reagan era, when the then-president infamously used Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A.," a song penned to protest the unfair treatment of Vietnam war veterans, during his reelection campaign.

The RNC made similar mistakes this year, attempting to use songs like George Harrison's "Here Comes the Sun" and Queen's "We Are the Champions" — songs about love and overcoming oppression — to accompany the party's divisive rhetoric.

Of course, Oliver, Usher and Lauper's song is not a gift. They're quick to remind their potential politician listeners that this song isn't free to steal either — not that any would likely try or admit to their wrongdoing.

Read more:
• Donald Trump's GOP Convention Pissed Off a Lot of Artists — Here's a Full List of Them
• Michelle Obama Sings Beyoncé in Carpool Karaoke With Missy Elliott and James Corden
• The Bizarre Consequences of Painting the World's Most Popular Anti-Taylor Swift Mural

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Chris Riotta

Chris Riotta is a culture reporter at Mic, covering news, music and entertainment. He is based in New York and can be reached at criotta@mic.com

MORE FROM

What to watch when you’re not watching ‘Game of Thrones’

There's some good shows out there you might be missing, and also CBS's 'Zoo'.

HBO programming president defends ‘Confederate,’ says network is “standing by” the writers

“We could’ve done a better job with the press rollout,” HBO programming president Casey Bloys admitted.

‘Game of Thrones’: These are the funniest people to follow on Twitter for live updates

A good tweet is the best antidote to scenes like Sam cutting open Mormont's greyscale sores.

Let’s overanalyze these ‘Game of Thrones’ photos from “The Queen’s Justice”

Jon Snow's going to meet his Aunt Daenerys.

‘Dunkirk’ is a Christopher Nolan movie that doesn’t need to be solved

For his new World War II epic, the puzzle-focused filmmaker decided to adjust his approach to storytelling.

Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson talk ‘Broad City’ season 4 and their prayers for Hillary Clinton

"Art has just become exponentially more political since the election," Glazer said.

What to watch when you’re not watching ‘Game of Thrones’

There's some good shows out there you might be missing, and also CBS's 'Zoo'.

HBO programming president defends ‘Confederate,’ says network is “standing by” the writers

“We could’ve done a better job with the press rollout,” HBO programming president Casey Bloys admitted.

‘Game of Thrones’: These are the funniest people to follow on Twitter for live updates

A good tweet is the best antidote to scenes like Sam cutting open Mormont's greyscale sores.

Let’s overanalyze these ‘Game of Thrones’ photos from “The Queen’s Justice”

Jon Snow's going to meet his Aunt Daenerys.

‘Dunkirk’ is a Christopher Nolan movie that doesn’t need to be solved

For his new World War II epic, the puzzle-focused filmmaker decided to adjust his approach to storytelling.

Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson talk ‘Broad City’ season 4 and their prayers for Hillary Clinton

"Art has just become exponentially more political since the election," Glazer said.