It was six years ago this month that Tom Petty died. One of the greatest American songwriters of all-time, gone too soon at 66 years old. But at least he never had to hear Lara Trump‘s cover of “I Won’t Back Down.”
Released as the first single from 1989’s Full Moon Fever, “I Won’t Back Down” is Petty’s ode to perseverance, to keeping this world from draggin’ you down and standing your ground. It has frequently been co-opted by conservatives, including Donald Trump, who played at his rallies in 2020. “Trump was in no way authorized to use this song to further a campaign that leaves too many Americans and common sense behind,” Petty’s family wrote on then-Twitter. “Both the late Tom Petty and his family firmly stand against racism and discrimination of any kind. Tom Petty would never want a song of his used for a campaign of hate. He liked to bring people together.”
Trump eventually stopped playing the song, but Lara Trump, Eric’s wife and Donald’s daughter-in-law, decided to cover it. On Thursday’s episode of The Late Show, host Stephen Colbert offered his review of her deceptively off-key performance on Sky News Australia. “Well I’ve never been to the gates of hell but now I’m pretty sure I know what they sound like,” he joked.
Lara Trump has claimed that her song has been “shadowbanned” on streaming services for being too political, to which Colbert quipped, “Yes, too political, her singing has been legally designated as domestic terrorism.”
You can watch the monologue above.