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OTRC: Kid Rock: Mitt Romney can use 'Born Free' song for campaign

Kid Rock appears in his 'Born Free' video. (WMG)

Kid Rock has given Mitt Romney, a conservative Republican and fellow Michigan native, his blessing to use his single "Born Free" as the theme song for his 2012 presidential campaign.

A Romney spokesman had earlier this week confirmed to the Detroit Free Press that the politician planned to use the 2010 track and that discussions about the matter were held with the singer's representatives.

"He and anyone else who wants to use my song do not need my permission," Kid Rock said about Romney, in a statement posted on his website recently. "I said he could use it and I would say the same for any other candidate. I have to have a little faith that every candidate feels like he or she can help this country. Without faith, we got nothing. I make music to have it be heard. Merry Christmas folks! Rock on."

The singer, whose real name is Bob Ritchie, co-wrote the song with his backup band's guitarist, Marlon Young. It was used in a commercial to promote the TBS cable network's 2010 Major League Baseball postseason coverage and was touted as an ode to American troops. The single is also featured on Kid Rock's 2010 album by the same name, which has sold more than a million copies domestically.

"Any candidate who makes 'So Hott' their theme song has a good chance of getting my vote," the singer added in his statement, referring to a 2007 song that is featured on his seventh studio album, "Rock n Roll Jesus."


Kid Rock has shown his support for the Republican party before, appearing at events promoting the campaigns of politicians such as Michael Bouchard, who ran for Senate in 2006 and endorsed Romney in the 2008 Republican presidential primaries.

Kid Rock said in March during an interview with Piers Morgan on his CNN talk show that he did not consider himself a "traditional Republican."

"I think I'm like the majority of people who are tired - we don't want a bunch of Bible thumpers running the country and we don't want a bunch of pot-smoking hippies running it," he said. "I would sway, belief-wise, more Republican and less government and creating opportunity. If you had to strictly say one of those, yes, I would sway a little bit more that way but then I would sway left on other issues."

Morgan asked the rocker if he believed the U.S.-led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were justified.

"I believe we need to have a presence there," Kid Rock said. "It's kind of like, somebody keeping an eye on the bully around town - if you let him free, he's going to work up a scheme and a scam and gonna get'cha."

"I think we need to be doing a lot of things that we don't need to know about," he added. "Things that people don't need to see. They just need to pay their taxes and understand they live in ... if you're born free somewhere ... that's such a great thing by the grace of God, just to be born free. I think it's a necessary evil."

Romney has criticized President Barack Obama's decision to pull all U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of the year and said in a statement in October that the country's leader's "astonishing failure to secure an orderly transition in Iraq has unnecessarily put at risk the victories that were won through the blood and sacrifice of thousands of American men and women."


Other music artists have protested and even filed lawsuits about the use of their songs in political advertisements and at rallies and other events. Many legal factors are considered in cases of possible copyright infringement of music, such as where and how a song is played and how much of the track is used.

Talking Heads singer David Byrne sued ex-Florida governor and former Republican Charlie Crist for $1 million for using the band's hit 1985 track "Road To Nowehere" in his 2010 Senate campaign. They reached a settlement earlier this year and the politician apologized in a YouTube video for copyright infringement. He also lost the election.

In 2008, Jackson Browne sued Republican candidate John McCain for using his 1978 song "Running on Empty" in a presidential campaign advertisement. The parties also reached a settlement and the Republican National Committee apologized to the singer, the New York Times reported.

In June, Tom Petty's representatives sent a cease and desist letter to Michelle Bachmann, asking that she stop using his 1977 song "American Girl" after it was played at a rally to launch the Minnesota congresswoman's campaign, Rolling Stone reported.

The rocker's record company also issued a similar request to George W. Bush in 2000, when the 1989 track "I Won't Back Down" was played during his presidential campaign rallies. In 2008, Members of the rock band Heart were angered when their 1977 hit "Barracuda" was played at the Republican National Convention when vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin took the state, saying that her "views and values in NO WAY represent us as American women," Rolling Stone said.

Check out the music video for Kid Rock's song, "Born Free" below.

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