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ELTON JOHN, REM, CHUCK D, ANNIE LENNOX, IMOGEN HEAP, TUNE-YARDS AND THOUSANDS OF ARTISTS AND FANS AROUND THE WORLD CALL FOR ACTION ON THE FAIR PLAY FAIR PAY ACT

(Washington, D.C.) During the past week, an online “Music Community Week of Action in Support of the Fair Play Fair Pay Act” organized by musicFIRST Coalition members – along with allied groups, including the Featured Artists Coalition, Content Creators Coalition and Future of Music Coalition – brought artists and fans worldwide together to show their support for U.S. music creators. 


The week began with a video statement of support from world-renowned artist and Recording Academy Trustee Sheila E. A diverse group of musicians continued to speak out on social media about the need to reform the rules of the road for music licensing in order to support a new generation of musicians. 


“I don’t want a new generation of musicians to disappear,” wrote Ms. Lennox and others.


Support for #FairPlayFairPay quickly snowballed as world-renowned artists and working musicians linked arms online and called out for action to make the music economy more just and more fair. What started as an organized effort to demonstrate the breadth of support for the bill has blossomed into a growing, organic movement that is echoing across social media and spilling into the halls (and bursting inboxes) of Congress. In just a week, thousands of tweets have generated 33.4 million Twitter impressions. 


Ted Kalo, the Executive Director of the musicFIRST Coalition, commented:


“This movement is built on a simple principle that grabs the imagination of everyone we touch – fair pay for all music on all platforms. The basic justice and fairness of this demand explains why so many are moved to speak out. 


“The fact that the United States has aligned its system for compensating artists with regimes like Iran and North Korea is shameful. It is destructive to the future of American music and threatens the art of a new generation of artists. 


“Some of the musicians supporting this bill are from countries where radio already pays a performance right and radio is still alive and well in those countries – contradicting the sky is falling claims of big corporate radio in the United States.  


“America’s failure to recognize AM/FM performance rights costs our artists dearly. They receive nothing for U.S. airplay, so the royalties they earn overseas are withheld because the United States refuses to reciprocate – over $100 million owed to U.S. artists is stranded overseas as a result.


“musicFIRST is grateful for the support of so many artists, musicians, managers, and fans worldwide. Big corporate radio is on notice: we have our own megaphone driven by people, not money.”


Click here for a sample of tweets from supporters of #FairPlayFairPay.


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