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Congressman Joe Crowley Pushes Fair Pay for Artists Ahead of Country Music Awards

10 November 2021

Washington, DC, November 10, 2021 – Ahead of the Country Music Association Awards, Congressman Joe Crowley, Chairman of the musicFIRST coalition, released the following statement calling for fair pay and just treatment of artists by radio broadcasters:

“Since long before the inception of the Country Music Association Awards in 1967, radio broadcasters have declined to fairly compensate music creators for their work. We are still confronting a century-old problem: artists receive not a dime when their music is played on AM/FM radio.

“While we celebrate the music we love, we must take a moment to recognize that many musicians are struggling. While we honor headliners and star performers, many working-class music creators cannot pay the bills, and making music that is delivered over the airwaves does not guarantee payment in return.”

“Just last week, we heard wealthy broadcasting corporations crowing on earnings calls about their bullish recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Profits are soaring. Financial positions are strong. Stock buybacks are on the table. Yet, these same companies still do not pay artists when their songs are played.

“We can fix this problem. Congress can pass the American Music Fairness Act and ensure that multi-billion-dollar radio corporations pay their fair share to artists. It’s simply the right thing to do.”

By a 2-1 margin, Americans also believe it’s unfair that artists are not paid when their music is played on traditional radio, according to a recent national survey. However, the lack of understanding of the plight of music creators has made it easier for the corporations that control radio stations to get away with this injustice, as a full 60% of Americans report they were not aware that music creators were not paid when their music is played on FM/AM stations. 

Congress has a chance to fix this by passing the American Music Fairness Act, which would require radio stations to compensate artists when their songs are broadcast.

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About musicFIRST
musicFIRST works to ensure music creators get fair pay for their work on all platforms and wherever and however it is played. We rally the people and organizations who make and love music to end the broken status quo that allows AM/FM to use any song ever recorded without paying its performers a dime. And to stand up for fair pay on digital radio — and whatever comes next.

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