Leonard Cohen estate denied the RNC’s request to use “Hallelujah”
As mentioned, it was a bad week for Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," with the song first used in the trailer for the "Snyder Cut" of Justice League, and then two covers were used during the final night of the 2020 Republican National Convention.
Pitchfork reports that the RNC sought permission from the Leonard Cohen estate for "a live performance of Leonard Cohen’s 'Hallelujah.'" The Cohen estate say they denied that request.
Michelle L Rice, a representative for the Cohen estate gave a statement, saying, "We are surprised and dismayed that the RNC would proceed knowing that the Cohen Estate had specifically declined the RNC’s use request, and their rather brazen attempt to politicize and exploit in such an egregious manner 'Hallelujah,' one of the most important songs in the Cohen song catalogue. We are exploring our legal options." Rice added, with a sense of humor Cohen surely would have approved of, "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."
This is not the first time Trump has used a song without permission.