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“Eye of the Tiger” co-writer upset Nikki Haley used song to announce presidential run

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Survivor keyboardist Frankie Sullivan, who co-wrote the band’s hit single “Eye of the Tiger,” is not happy that former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley used the band’s hit track this week as she walked out to announce her run for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination.

Sullivan tells Billboard that his initial reaction when he discovered she used the tune was, “Stop using my f***ing song!”

“That song belongs with the Rocky franchise and they don’t ask because they’d get a no. Absolutely,” he said. 

“Eye of the Tiger” was the theme song to Rocky III, starring Sylvester Stallone, and went to number one for the band in 1982. In 2016 Sullivan sued Republican Mike Huckabee’s presidential campaign for using the song at a rally without permission; Huckabee had to pay $25,000.

“I don’t care who it is, I don’t think it’s appropriate, especially with ‘Tiger,’ since it’s such a special song,” he said. “I have no idea why any politician would play that as a walk on. I would say you have to have balls … but in this situation that doesn’t apply.”

Finally, he notes, “I wish they would just stop this nonsense!”

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