Sheryl Crow, Dionne Warwick and WILL.I.AM have urged the U.S. Congress to pass a new law forcing radio stations to pay artists for every song they play.
The trio joined a number of other singers, including Herbie Hancock and Patti LaBelle, in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday (24Feb09) for a news conference on behalf of the musicFIRST Coalition, a campaign group calling for radio royalties to be updated.
At present, American satellite and internet radio stations, as well as cable TV music channels, pay performers, musicians and songwriters' fees. However, AM and FM radio stations only pay songwriters for the privilege of playing artists' tracks - and the singers want that changed.
New bills ensuring artists get a share of radio royalties have been introduced in the House of Representatives and the Senate, and the stars hope that by voicing their opinions they will be able to convince Congress to pass the new laws.
Hancock says, "People deserve to be paid when somebody else uses their property. Just as radio promotes music, music promotes radio."
And Warwick admits she is expecting to be properly compensated for having her songs aired on radio stations around the world for almost five decades. She adds, "I think now is about time that I do get paid."