Darren Hayes Blasts Cory Bernardi Over Music Stunt


Singer Darren Hayes has slammed Australian Conservatives leader Cory Bernardi after the senator used one of Savage Garden’s songs in a political stunt ahead of Australia Day.

Last year Triple J announced it was moving the date of its popular Hottest 100 countdown to January 27 out of respect for Indigenous Australians after a large majority of the station’s listeners backed the move.

But the Australian Conservatives on Wednesday unveiled their own Australia Day playlist to rival Triple J’s Hottest 100 countdown in response to Triple J’s “abandon[ment of] our national day for political correctness.”

The party’s Spotify playlist includes songs from Jimmy Barnes, John Farnham, Kylie Minogue, Men at Work, Cold Chisel, Kate Ceberano, Slim Dusty, Shannon Noll, AC/DC as well as Indigenous Australian artists.

But former Savage Garden frontman Darren Hayes blasted Bernardi and went as far as threatening legal action.

“I do not want to be associated with you, your party or your views,” he tweeted.

“Remove my music from this stunt or expect contact from my publisher.

“You do not have permission to use my music.”

But Bernardi fired back, “Get over yourself @darrenhayes. Music is for everyone.”

Hayes also tweeted at a number of the artists on the playlist, asking if they were “cool with the far right Australian Conservatives using our music to promote their agenda.”

Bernardi told ABC Radio the reaction amounted to “intolerant censorship” and said all Australians should be entitled to enjoy music regardless of whether their political views aligned with the artists’.

“[Darren Hayes] gets a royalty for every time it’s played, he should be thanking us,” Bernardi said.

In a statement on Thursday afternoon, Spotify said the company wanted to “make clear we do not endorse this playlist, nor do we have any official ties to the Australian Conservatives party nor any other political party.”

“Spotify has actively supported marriage, gender, and indigenous equality initiatives over the last five years, and believes in a diverse and multicultural Australia,” the company said.