Rocker Neil Young, a Canadian, talks U.S. presidential politics

Tue May 24, 2016 9:26pm EDT
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(Reprise Records corrects release date of next album to June 24 from June 17, last paragraph)

By Jane Ross

(Reuters) - Neil Young, a Canadian citizen, can't vote in the upcoming U.S. presidential election - but the 70-year-old rocker has plenty to say about it.

In a video interview with Reuters ahead of the release of his new album "Earth," the Grammy-award-winning singer-songwriter excused Donald Trump for using his music without asking his permission.

Trump's use of "Rockin' in the Free World" during the Republican nominee's campaign launch raised heckles last June. Young's management company released a statement at the time saying that Trump was not authorized to use the song in the announcement of his presidential candidacy.

Young now says he has nothing against Trump using his song. He just would have liked to have been asked.    

"The fact that I said I was for Bernie Sanders and then he didn't ask me to use 'Rockin' in the Free World' doesn't mean that he can't use it," said Young, who has long lived on a ranch in California.

Young confirmed the Trump's campaign statement that the campaign had a license agreement with the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers for the right to play the recording.

"He actually got a license to use it," Young said. "I mean, he said he did and I believe him. So I got nothing against him. You know, once the music goes out, everybody can use it for anything.   Continued...

Recording artist Neil Young poses for a portrait while promoting his upcoming album "Earth" in Calabasas, U.S., May 18, 2016.   REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni