Y.M.C.A. Singer Upset Over TV Network’s Use Of His Disco Anthem

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September 24, 2015 | 3:13pm EST

Village People singer Victor Willis has fired off a cease and desist warning to bosses at the E! network over their use of his hit Y.M.C.A. during a recent fashion show.
The angry disco star, who co-owns the rights to the track, was upset when he learned a new version of his iconic group had performed the song live as part of the E! broadcast of Macy’s Presents Fashion’s Front Row on Wednesday.
In a tweet sent shortly after the program aired, he wrote, “I did not approve a live performance of YMCA by the current group on E! @Macys U will hear from my lawyers real soon.”
And he wasn’t joking – hours later his attorney sent out a cease and desist letter to E!’s head of programming Jeff Olde.
It reads: “It is has come my attention that your network has aired a live performance of the iconic composition Y.M.C.A. We are one of the owners of the copyright. This airing occurred on September 23, 2015. We did not grant you live performance use rights of the song. We believe we can show a copyright violation has occurred.
“We are informed and believe that on September 24, 2015, you intend a second airing of the live performance of Y.M.C.A. It is hereby demanded that you cease and desist any further use of the song.”
A spokesman for Willis tells WENN, “Victor has had control of the song since 2013 and this is the first time there has been a big performance on TV.
“As well as sending out this cease and desist, Victor has also banned the current Village People group – which features none of the original members – from performing this song or any others he wrote on television. As a result, they won’t be on television any more.”