Dolly Parton Did Not Give Permission to Elizabeth Warren to Use Her Hit Song on the Campaign Trail
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When Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., announced her presidential run, she did so underscored by Dolly Parton’s working-class anthem “9 to 5.” The song seemed to sum up the spirit of a candidacy built on giving workers a fairer shake.
The only problem is that the artist didn’t give her permission to use the hit.
Parton’s manager, Danny Nozell, revealed that not only did Warren use the song without permission, but that the singer doesn’t ever allow her songs to be involved with any political campaigns.
“We did not approve the request, and we do not approve requests like this of (a) political nature,” Nozell told The Associated Press.
Parton sings in part:
Workin’ 9 to 5, what a way to make a livin’
Barely gettin’ by, it’s all takin’ and no givin’
They just use your mind and they never give you credit
It’s enough to drive you crazy if you let it
9 to 5, for service and devotion
You would think that I would deserve a fat promotion
Want to move ahead but the boss won’t seem to let me
I swear sometimes that man is out to get me!
Nozell, CEO of CTK Management, did not respond to a question about whether Parton’s team might register any formal complaint about Warren’s use of the song, which she played during a Friday town hall meeting in New York City.
Parton is notorious for keeping both her music and herself out of politics. Following an appearance at the 2017 Emmys alongside “9 to 5” co-stars Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda, the two bashed President Trump live on stage. Parton lightened the mood, saying: “Well, I know about support,” the country legend said pointing at her chest.
“I don’t voice my political opinions,” she told Fox News at the time. “I just get out there and entertain. To me, that’s what I do. I don’t condemn them.”
She elaborated in a recent interview with The Guardian saying:
“I’ve got as many Republican friends as I’ve got Democrat friends and I just don’t like voicing my opinion on things. I’ve seen things before, like the Dixie Chicks. You can ruin a career for speaking out,” she said.
“I respect my audience too much for that, I respect myself too much for that. Of course I have my own opinions, but that don’t mean I got to throw them out there because you’re going to piss off half the people.”
If Parton escalates the matter, there’s no shortage of precedent: The late Tom Petty reportedly sent a cease-and-desist letter to Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., over the use of his song “American Girl” in her 2011 campaign, and former President George W. Bush got a similar letter from Petty over his choice of the singer’s “I Won’t Back Down” during the 2000 campaign.