musicFirst Partners with Dionne Warwick for New Grassroots Action Campaign

Dionne Warwick musicFirst campaign
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Dionne Warwick musicFirst campaign
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Photo Credit: Raph_PH / CC by 2.0

musicFIRST has launched the Music Fairness Action campaign in partnership with Dionne Warwick. The grassroots effort aims to ensure the voices of music makers are heard in the fight to secure compensation for AM/FM radio plays.

AM/FM radio is the only music platform in the United States that doesn’t pay artists for the use of their recordings. The Music Fairness Action campaign will provide a platform for music artists and their fans to elevate their voices in support of the American Music Fairness Act (AMFA)—a bipartisan effort to ensure music artists receive fair compensation when their recordings are used.

“Everyone deserved to be paid for their work. Period. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. That’s a bedrock American value that most people in this country stand by. And that’s why artists across genres and generations—from Frank Sinatra to Common to Randy Travis, Becky G, and so many others—have been speaking out in support of fair pay for AM/FM radio plays for decades,” adds Dionne Warwick.

“This injustice has gone on for far too long. I’ve been fighting since the ‘80s, and others were fighting long before me. It’s time to finally right this wrong. I urge my fellow music makers and music lovers to join me in calling on Congress to pass the American Music Fairness Act.”

The launch of the Music Fairness Action campaign coincides with Music Fairness Awareness month, which is an annual effort by music creators in November. They aim to bring attention to a decades-long injustice that denies artists fair pay for play on AM/FM radio stations in the United States.

The AMFA was re-introduced in 2023 by Representatives Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and Senators Alex Padilla (D-CA) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN). The legislation if passed would finally require large broadcast corporations to pay performance royalties to creators for AM/FM plays—not just streaming platforms. The bill also includes broad exemptions for small college and non-commercial radio stations.

“The United States is the only democratic country in the world where artists are not paid when their music is played on AM/FM radio,” says Senator Mark Pryor, Co-Chairman of the musicFIRST coalition. “We’re currently lumped in with the likes of Iran and North Korea when it comes to perpetuating this injustice—and that’s not the type of company that America ever wants to keep.”

According to a recent poll commissioned by musicFIRST, roughly 6 in 10 voters (59% say they would support Congress passing a new law that would require broadcasters to pay artists when their music is played on AM/FM radio, such as the AMFA. Only 15% would not support such a law.