Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Leonard Cohen’s estate slams use of Hallelujah at RNC to politicise song

 KATHMANDU: Calling the use of Canadian singer Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah at the Republican National Convention (RNC) a brazen attempt to politicise the song, the estate of the late singer is considering legal action over its use.

According to Reuters, a recording of Hallelujah by Tori Kelly was played during a fireworks display on Augusst 27 night that followed US President Donald Trump’s acceptance speech for the Republican nomination. A second, more operatic version, was performed on camera by American tenor Christopher Macchio.

Issuing a statement, Cohen’s estate said that it was “surprised and dismayed” the song had been used, saying it had specifically denied the RNC’s request to do so.

It said it was exploring legal options and called the RNC’s decision a “rather brazen attempt to politicise and exploit in such an egregious manner Hallelujah, one of the most important songs in the Cohen song catalogue,” according to Reuters.

“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,” Reuters quoted the statement as adding.

Cohen died in 2016 at age 82 after a late career revival. Hallelujah, first released in 1984, has become his most-performed song.

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