Gloria Estefan is aiming to turn the tide for singers’ wallets, telling Congress that a music royalty bill would help artists who “can’t pay the rent” amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The ‘Rhythm is Gonna Get You’ singer appeared at a virtual House Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday to push lawmakers to pass the American Music Fairness Act, which would require radio stations to pay artists if they play their songs.
“Each of the songs that are precious and meaningful to you were a labor of love for the songwriters, artists, musicians and producers who brought it to life. They poured their hearts and souls into its creation. But when their music gets on the radio, the artists don’t get paid, only the songwriters,” said Estefan, 64.
While radio stations benefit from ad dollars, the Grammy Award winner said, “featured artists, singers, producers and session musicians are being left out.”
She called the practice ‘problematic’ for older artists who don’t top the music charts but still get their songs on the radio, and for artists who have been sidelined by the shutdowns. related to COVID-19.
“For so many American music creators, life has become dire since the pandemic began,” Estefan said. “Due to COVID, they had to drastically reduce live performances, or remove them altogether, eliminating an important and often unique source of revenue.”
She pushed back against the long-held position of radio stations claiming that putting music on their airwaves provides a promotional tool to get more new pairs of ears listening to artists’ songs.
“These hard-working, middle-class Americans can’t afford the rent for the exposure given to them by the broadcast companies,” Estefan said.
Estefan testified that traditional radio remains the “only platform that doesn’t pay performers for the sound recordings they use to fuel often billion-dollar businesses”, and is the “only industry in America who can use the intellectual property of others without permission or compensation”. .”
The bill, introduced by Reps. Ted DeutschTheodore (Ted) Eliot DeutchIt’s time for Biden to keep his promises to Israel and UN Florida Democrats call on DeSantis to accept federal aid to expand COVID-19 testing Last living prosecutor from Nuremberg trials earns Congressional Gold Medal MORE (D-Fla.) and Darrell IssaDarrell Edward IssaProposed California cards put incumbents at risk Bipartisan lawmakers target judges’ stock swaps with new bill How lawmakers helped Afghan evacuation MORE (R-Calif.), “would ensure that all competing music platforms are treated equally,” Estefan said.
“While life isn’t fair, and we can’t change that, paying music royalties should be, because that’s what it’s all about.”