ASCAP Songwriters Meet with Members of Congress for Virtual “Stand with Songwriters” Advocacy Month
June 16, 2021
Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, Rhymefest, MILCK, Tom Tom Club’s Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth and Other Award-Winning American Songwriters Call on Congress to Support American Music Creators
WASHINGTON, DC, June 16, 2021—Following the cancellation of last year’s ASCAP advocacy events in Washington, DC due to the onset of the pandemic, award-winning songwriters and ASCAP Board members will resume the longstanding tradition of meeting with and performing for Members of Congress as part of ASCAP’s ongoing advocacy efforts. In place of the beloved “We Write the Songs” annual concert in partnership with The ASCAP Foundation and the Library of Congress and “Stand with Songwriters” advocacy day on Capitol Hill, ASCAP will hold a virtual “Stand with Songwriters” Advocacy Month to put a face on some of the most pressing issues directly affecting American music creators.
Among the ASCAP songwriter and composer advocates who plan to participate are: ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams (“Rainbow Connection”), Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo (“Love Is a Battlefield”), Billy Steinberg (Cyndi Lauper, “True Colors”), Desmond Child (Bon Jovi, “Livin’ on a Prayer”), Joss Favela (“Me Hubieras Dicho”), Mozella (Miley Cyrus, “Wrecking Ball”), Styx’s Dennis DeYoung (“Come Sail Away”), Rhymefest (Common & John Legend, “Glory”), Tony Arata (Garth Brooks, “The Dance”), Chris DeStefano (Carrie Underwood, “Good Girl”), MILCK (“Quiet”), Talking Heads/Tom Tom Club’s Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth (“Genius of Love”), pop/jazz virtuoso Emily Bear; bassist, film and jazz composer Marcus Miller, composers Michael Abels (Jordan Peele's Get Out), Bear McCreary (AMC's The Walking Dead), David Vanacore (CBS’s Survivor), Siddhartha Khosla (NBC’s This Is Us), Amanda Jones (HBO's A Black Lady Sketch Show), Michelle Lewis (Disney Junior’s Doc McStuffins), concert music composer Tom Lopez, singer-songwriter ROE (“Fool 4 U”) and many others.
“Advocacy has always been a fundamental part of the work we do as a collective, and we’re thrilled to be back in Washington, albeit virtually,” said ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams, an Oscar-, Grammy- and Golden Globe-winning songwriter. “When the pandemic hit, ASCAP’s strong relationships with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle helped us secure important benefits for music creators like unemployment insurance and the Paycheck Protection Program. As the music industry recovers, we urge our legislators to keep defending the value of music and protecting the livelihoods of America’s songwriters and composers, who are the heart and soul of the nation’s thriving music industry.”
The pandemic has created unique challenges for the entire music industry – from songwriters, composers and music publishers to performance venues – but, as music creators became more dependent upon streaming income during lockdown, it has also highlighted how outdated music licensing rules no longer work in the modern digital music marketplace. Now, more than ever, music creators need to be able to earn a fair, livable wage when their music is played. During “Stand with Songwriters” Advocacy Month, ASCAP members will encourage Members of Congress to stand with songwriters during this difficult time and help music creators rebuild and modernize America’s vibrant music industry.
To learn more about ASCAP’s music creator advocacy efforts, visit www.ascap.com/advocacy.
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a professional membership organization of songwriters, composers and music publishers of every kind of music. ASCAP's mission is to license and promote the music of its members and foreign affiliates, obtain fair compensation for the public performance of their works and to distribute the royalties that it collects based upon those performances. ASCAP members write the world's best-loved music and ASCAP has pioneered the efficient licensing of that music to hundreds of thousands of enterprises who use it to add value to their business - from bars, restaurants and retail, to radio, TV and cable, to Internet, mobile services and more. The ASCAP license offers an efficient solution for businesses to legally perform ASCAP music while respecting the right of songwriters and composers to be paid fairly. With more than 825,000 members representing more than 16 million copyrighted works, ASCAP is the worldwide leader in performance royalties, service and advocacy for songwriters and composers, and the only American performing rights organization (PRO) owned and governed by its writer and publisher members. Learn more and stay in touch at www.ascap.com, on Twitter and Instagram @ASCAP and on Facebook.
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Cathy Halgas Nevins, ASCAP
Lauren Edmonds, Finsbury Glover Hering