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.”
“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,” the statement added.
Cohen died in 2016 at age 82 after a late career revival. Hallelujah, first released in 1984, has become his most-performed song.
The use of the song dismayed Cohen fans on social media and followed a pattern of unauthorised pop songs at Trump events and rallies.
The Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Tom Petty, Rihanna, Elton John, Adele, and Queen are among dozens of musicians who have issued cease and desist letters or spoken out against their music being used at Trump rallies.