Pat Benatar, Talking Heads’ Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth, Marcus Miller and Chris DeStefano are among the collective of songwriters going to Washington, D.C., to meet with and perform for members of Congress as part of ASCAP‘s ongoing advocacy efforts. ASCAP (The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) is helping to bring attention to the issues impacting the music industry and its professionals as the U.S. rebounds from the pandemic.
Following the onset of the pandemic and the cancellation of last year’s ASCAP events in D.C., the virtual “Stand with Songwriters” Advocacy Month will replace the annual “We Write the Songs” concert. The month will be in partnership with The ASCAP Foundation and the Library of Congress as well as the “Stand with Songwriters” advocacy day on Capitol Hill.
Throughout the pandemic, the music industry— songwriters, composers and music publishers, venues, touring professionals, and beyond—has faced unprecedented challenges. The imbalance of revenue through streaming during this time was even more prevalent with more artists in dire need of earned wages from their composed works.
Songwriter and composers participating in the “Stand with Songwriters” Advocacy Month include: 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, and singer-songwriter ROE (“Fool 4 U”), among 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 Williams. “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.”