(L-R) Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr., and Recording Academy Co-President Valeisha Butterfield Jones
Photo: Paul Morigi/Getty Images for The Recording Academy
Music Creators Take To Capitol Hill At The Recording Academy's GRAMMYs On The Hill Advocacy Day 2022
Today, music creators and GRAMMY winners and nominees from across the country will meet with representatives on Capitol Hill in support of legislation to protect and ensure fair treatment as the music community continues to recover from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This effort comes on the morning after the 20th anniversary of the GRAMMYs on the Hill Awards, Washington, D.C.'s premier annual celebration of music and advocacy, bringing together congressional leaders and music makers to recognize those who have led the fight for creators' rights.
"Over the past two decades of GRAMMYs on the Hill, we've honored legendary creators and congressional leaders moving our industry forward and standing up for working musicians across the country," Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr. said. "Last night was no exception, though there is still work to be done. As we meet with legislators today, we urge them to join us in support of more equitable solutions that protect the creative community, ensure fair treatment for creators, and harness the power of music to reach across cultures in pursuit of peace."
Benefitting the GRAMMY Museum and sponsored by City National Bank, the Recording Academy's 2022 GRAMMYs on the Hill Awards returned to the nation's capital on Wednesday, April 27, recognizing five-time GRAMMY-winning, renowned songwriters and producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, who have been instrumental in defining the sound of pop music for decades. Reps. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) and Michael McCaul (R-Texas) were also honored for their leadership in supporting the rights of music creators.
Throughout Advocacy Day meetings, creators will urge support for several efforts, including those introduced by this year's congressional honorees. Deutch is the lead Democratic sponsor for the American Music Fairness Act, which, if passed, would pay royalties to artists and producers when their music is played on the radio. McCaul has co-sponsored key legislation like the Help Independent Tracks Succeed Act (HITS Act), which updates the federal tax code to bring in line music production with other industries and create parity.
Together, Deutch and McCaul also introduced the Promoting Peace, Education, and Cultural Exchange (PEACE) through Music Diplomacy Act, an effort crystalized into importance by recent events and showcased in action during the 64th GRAMMY Awards by a powerful performance from three Ukrainian artists, Siuzanna Iglidan, Mika Newton and Lyuba Yakimchuck, together with GRAMMY winner John Legend.
Another key issue that will be addressed on behalf of songwriters and composers is the fight for fair pay. Later this year, the Copyright Royalty Board will set the royalty rates that streaming services pay to songwriters, and tech companies are once again pushing to cut songwriter pay.
Over the last 20 years, GRAMMYs on the Hill has hosted award-winning artists and applauded congressional leaders alike, including four-time GRAMMY winner Yolanda Adams, then Vice President Joe Biden, two-time GRAMMY winner Garth Brooks, former United States Secretary of State and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), former Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), 28-time GRAMMY winner Quincy Jones, seven-time GRAMMY winner John Mayer, former Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), four-time GRAMMY winner Missy Elliott, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and more. The annual advocacy event has also led to several major legislative wins for the music industry, most notably the Music Modernization Act in 2018.