Legendary artists on hand in Washington for launch of American Music Fairness Act

Dionne Warwick, Sam Moore and Dropkick Murphys frontman spoke

The Music Universe was on hand and spoke with several key players at the United States Capitol today (Thurs, June 24th) for the kick-off of the campaign to pass the American Music Fairness Act (AMF).

The AMF Act would require large terrestrial radio stations with revenues in the millions and billions to pay each time an artist’s song is played. There is a tiered revenue threshold that would leave smaller, independent stations unaffected.

On hand at the launch were Dropkick Murphys lead singer Ken Casey, Rock and Roll hall of famer Sam Moore, and R&B legend Dionne Warwrick. “Fairness” was the word of the moment as each expressed their feelings that terrestrial radio has utilized “promotion” as an excuse to avoid paying artists for spins.

Representatives Ted Deutch (D-FL) and Darrell Issa (R-CA) are co-sponsoring the bill in a show of bi-partisan support for the musicians. TMU spoke with Congressman Deutch and asked whether the very public loss of revenue that artists experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic renewed hope for the bill.

“There is a realization by so many people in our country that, number one, music is incredibly important — especially in difficult times like we’ve experienced. And two, we have benefitted from that music while the artists suffered,” the Congressman tells TMU exclusively. “And that’s why we’re viewing this differently now. That’s why people are more willing to engage on this issue and recognize that all we want is fairness. And it’s hard arguing against fairness.”

Dropkick Murphys lead singer Ken Casey echoes the Congressman’s sentiment that people have awoken to this issue, saying to TMU, “We don’t have many people lobbying on our behalf. So it’s nice to see this happening honestly, just even in principle.” The “Shipping Up to Boston” rocker continues, “I think we can expect that if it doesn’t happen in Congress, it will at least happen with the fans coming out to support us when we’re back on the road.”

“I know that ticket sales have been up for a lot of artists, so I know the fan base will take care of us if no one else will,” Casey concludes.

The American Music Fairness Act has been introduced two weeks before the House begins their summer recess. TMU will monitor the progress on the bill in the coming months.

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Matt Bailey
Matt Bailey is podcast producer and writer located in the Northeast. Since 2013, Bailey has produced more than 160 episodes of his own online radio show, Talk For Two. In 2016 alone, he interviewed Kevin Bacon, Crystal Gayle, Bob Barker, and Gilbert Gottfried, among several other stars. As a Correspondent for The Music Universe, his focus is Broadway, country music and concert reviews.
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