PJ Morton
PJ Morton at GRAMMYs On The Hill

Photo: Paul Morigi via Getty Images

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10 GRAMMY Nominees Who Advocate For Music People's Rights

Meet 10 GRAMMY nominees who have gotten involved with Recording Academy Advocacy.

Advocacy/Nov 18, 2022 - 08:46 pm

The Recording Academy may be most visible for the GRAMMYs, but handing out awards is hardly all it does.

Rather, the world's leading society of music professionals works to change the music landscape for the better — and from a legislative standpoint, that channel is Advocacy.

There's significant overlap, too, between the artists you might see on TV and those who champion the rights of music people.

Read on for 10 GRAMMY nominees who have gotten involved with Recording Academy Advocacy — and consider how you, too, can get involved in this crucial process.

John Legend

As a singer/songwriter, John Legend may be busy enough to earn 12 career GRAMMYs. But that doesn't mean he hasn't made time to fight for music creators' rights.

In 2020, Legend participated in Recording Academy Advocacy's District Advocate Day,where he met virtually with the Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), to discuss the importance of including music creators in COVID-19 relief funding. He also serves on the Recording Academy's National Board of Trustees.

This year, he is nominated for GRAMMYs Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song for his work on God Did by DJ Khaled, which also features Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, John Legend, Fridayy, and other leading lights.

Sean Paul

In April 2022, GRAMMY winner Sean Paul came to Washington, D.C. to be part of the first GRAMMYs On The Hill Advocacy Day in three years.

While in town, he met with multiple Congressional offices, including those of Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-CA), to advocate for the passage of pro-music legislation such as the HITS Act and the PEACE Through Music Diplomacy Act.

Sean Paul's album, Scorcha, is nominated for a GRAMMY for Best Reggae Album at the 2023 GRAMMYs — his 10th career nomination in all.

PJ Morton

*Rep. Hakeem Jeffries and John Legend. Photo courtesy of the Recording Academy.*

PJ Morton

PJ Morton is not only a four-time GRAMMY-winning artist; he'salso a consistent advocate for the music community.

In 2020, Morton met virtually with House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) to urge Congress to pass legislation that would help creators financially recover from the pandemic.

Additionally, displayed his championhood for creator's rights when he met with Members of the House and Senate in 2019 during the Recording Academy's GRAMMYs On The Hill Advocacy Day and in his home state during the 2017 Louisianna Advocacy Day. PJ Morton is also a member of the Recording Academy's National Board of Trustees.

This year, Morton is nominated for GRAMMYs for Best R&B Song ("Please Don't Walk Away"), Best R&B Album (Watch the Sun), and Best Gospel Performance/Song ("The Better Benediction").

Liz Rose

Liz Rose

Two-time GRAMMY winner Liz Rose, is nominated for a GRAMMY for Song Of The Year for co-writing "All Too Well (10 Minute Version)" alongside Taylor Swift. This marks her sixth nomination ever.

In addition to being an accomplished songwriter, Rose has also been an advocate for the rights of creators. In 2018, she came to Washington to participate in the Recording Academy's annual GRAMMYs On The Hill Awards.

There, she paid tribute to honorees Little Big Town alongside fellow songwriters Lori McKenna and Hillary Lindsey — collectively known as the Love Junkies. She also lobbied for creators on Capitol Hill as part of GRAMMYs On The Hill Advocacy Day.

Brandi Carlile

In 2020, six-time GRAMMY winner Brandi Carlile was a special guest at the annual GRAMMY Fund Brunch, benefiting the GRAMMY Fund for Music Creators.

This fundraiser is crucial to the Recording Academy's Advocacy work by allowing the Academy to support Members of Congress who actively champion music creators within their legislation.

Carlile has been nominated for seven golden gramophones at the 2023 GRAMMYs — for Record Of The Year, Album Of The Year, Best Rock Performance, Best Rock Song, Best Americana Performance, Best American Roots Song, and Best Americana Album.

J. Ivy

At the 2023 GRAMMYs, J. Ivy's The Poet Who Sat by the Door is nominated for a GRAMMY for Best Spoken Word Poetry Album — marking the second GRAMMY nomination of his career.

Ivy also participates in the Recording Academy Advocacy's annual District Advocate Day. Through the years, he's met with lawmakers in his state like Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL) to make sure his representatives keep music creators in mind when crafting legislation.

Shaggy and Sting with Daryl Friedman

*Shaggy and Sting with Daryl Friedman. Photo: Rebecca Sapp via Getty Images*

Shaggy

Two-time GRAMMY-winning artist Shaggy has also been a supporter for music creator's rights.

In 2018, Shaggy and frequent collaborator Sting participated in a moderated discussion at the GRAMMY Museum to discuss important pieces of legislation such as the Music Modernization Act — which became law just days later.

At the 2023 GRAMMYs, Shaggy Com Fly Wid Mi is nominated for a GRAMMY for Best Reggae Album.

Fantastic Negrito

Back in 2018, Fantastic Negrito took his talents to Washington, D.C. for the Recording Academy's GRAMMYs On The Hill Advocacy Day.

Therein, he met with Members of Congress and their staff to discuss the importance of passing the Music Modernization Act (MMA) — which went on to become law just months later.

Fantastic Negrito's song "Oh Betty" is nominated for Best American Roots Performance at the 2023 GRAMMYs; previously, he's won three GRAMMYs for Best Contemporary Blues Album.

Kelsea Ballerini Joe Crowley

*Former Rep. Joe Crowley and Kelsea Ballerini. Photo: Mark Sullivan/WireImage*

Kelsea Ballerini

In 2017, Bellerini participated in a GRAMMY Week Congressional Briefing hosted by the Recording Academy's Advocacy Department. During the briefing, Members of Congress had the opportunity to hear directly from music creators — such as Ballerini herself — on why passing pro-music legislation is so important.

This year, Ballerini is up for her third GRAMMY nomination for her song "Heartfirst," in the Best Country Solo Performance category.

Tayla Parx

*Tayla Parx. Photo: David Becker via Getty Images*

Tayla Parx

Not only did Parx participate in a Recording Academy webinar on mechanical licensing where she helped explain to artists how the service would benefit them; she participated in the 2022 GRAMMY Week Congressional Briefing.

As members of Congress and their staff looked on, Parx joined fellow women songwriters to discuss their experience as females in the industry, how COVID-19 impacted them, and what Congress can do to help.

This year, Parx is nominated for a GRAMMY for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album for her work on DOMi & JD Beck's NOT TIGHT. She is also nominated for a GRAMMY for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for her work on Diana Ross's album Thank You.

District Advocate Day 2022 Is A Wrap. What Was Accomplished, And How Do We Move Forward?

Taylor Hanson with Brothers Osborne at GRAMMY Advocacy Brunch in 2024
Taylor Hanson with Brothers Osborne at GRAMMY Advocacy Brunch in 2024

Photo courtesy of the Recording Academy

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How Newly Elected Recording Academy Trustees Are Involved In Advocacy: Dani Deahl, Taylor Hanson & More

Newly elected Recording Academy Trustees Dani Deahl, Taylor Hanson, Torae Carr, and Sara Gazerak have a history of advocacy for music people. Get to know them below.

Advocacy/Jun 5, 2024 - 09:25 pm

The Recording Academy's Board of Trustees has a history of being filled with members that are both passionate about making music and advocating for music creators. The newly elected slate of trustees is no exception and four of the new members continuously show their dedication to advocacy.

Those Trustees are Dani Deahl, Taylor Hanson, Torae Carr, and Sara Gazerak. They're four of a total of 19 leaders of diverse backgrounds and disciplines who have assumed their position on the 2024-2025 Board of Trustees.

Effective June 1, the newly elected Trustees joined the Academy's midterm Trustees, including National Officers Tammy Hurt (Chair), Dr. Chelsey Green (Vice Chair), Gebre Waddell (Secretary/Treasurer), and Christine Albert (Chair Emeritus).

Their mission is to uphold the Academy's core values: to serve and represent the music community at-large through its commitment to promote diversity, equity and inclusion, fight for creators' rights, protect music people in need, preserve music's history, and invest in its future.

About that fight for creator's rights, specifically: read on for these four Trustees' advocacy bona fides.

Dani Deahl

This prominent artist, DJ and producer previously served as the Recording Academy's Chicago Chapter Governor. She's also been a prolific advocate for music makers and the greater music industry. 

In March, Deahl testified in front of the Illinois House and Senate on HB 4875/SB 3325 alongside fellow Chicago Chapter member Jeff Becker. HB 4875/SB 3325 represents a crucial step towards modernizing Illinois's Right of Publicity Act for the AI era.

By granting additional enforcement rights and remedies, the bill was created to shield musicians from exploitation by generative AI systems. While existing copyright laws offer some protection, the amendments directly address gaps in safeguarding an artist's name, image, likeness, and voice.

Shortly after the Academy and Deahl's advocacy efforts in Springfield, HB 4875/SB 3325 passed through both the Illinois House and Senate and is with Governor J.B. Pritzker waiting to be signed into law.

On Friday, May 3, Deahl participated in the Recording Academy's Inaugural GRAMMYs on the Hill Future Forum. Designed to provide a space to explore the most pressing issues facing music, this momentous occasion served as a pivotal platform to delve into the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on the music community. The afternoon consisted of a series of panel discussions curated to explore both the promise and the peril that AI presents to music makers.

Deahl joined GRAMMY nominated producer, emcee, vocalist, and thought leader, Kokayi, and Recording Academy's Chief Advocacy & Public Policy Officer, Todd Dupler, for the first panel of the afternoon. 

Throughout the discussion, Deahl demonstrated live how she ethically uses AI as a tool to enhance her music, including stem separation, voice or tone replacement, and song generation. Dani also attended and participated in the 2024 GRAMMYs on the Hill Awards and Advocacy Day.

Taylor Hanson

You know that surname: he's a former Texas Chapter President, three-time GRAMMY nominated artist and member of the band Hanson.

Last August, Recording Academy members of the Texas Chapter, including Taylor Hanson, headed to Oklahoma City to meet with state government officials to build up the relationship between the Oklahoma music community and state leaders.

Throughout the day, the group met with Lieutenant Governor Matt Pinnell and the Deputy Director of the Oklahoma Film and Music Office, Jeanette Stanton, at the state's Capitol before heading to the Governor's Mansion.

During the meeting, they discussed the importance of the music community in Oklahoma, ways the state can continue to be involved in supporting the music community, and how the Recording Academy can be a resource for ensuring artists' voices are heard.

At the Governor's Mansion, Hanson participated in a panel with other Texas Chapter members on the Recording Academy and how Oklahoma Academy members and music creators can get involved. Specifically, the group highlighted the Recording Academy's District Advocate Day, which Hanson has been a vocal supporter of.

Taylor Hanson has participated in numerous District Advocate meetings, attended the 2024 GRAMMY Advocacy Brunch, and has also used his social platform to spread awareness about the Recording Academy's grassroots advocacy movements.

Torae Carr

On May 7, 2024, this rapper and former New York Chapter President joined other members of the Recording Academy's New York chapter and took to the state capitol in Albany. The purpose was to advocate for the passage of A 127, a crucial piece of legislation designed to safeguard the creative works of artists across New York.

Throughout the day, the group met with key members of the Assembly to express their support for the bill and highlight the crucial need to protect artistic freedom during legal proceedings.

At the time of the advocacy day, A 127 had already passed through the senate. Since then, it has been voted through the Assembly Codes Committee with the goal to be voted on in the Assembly in the coming days. 

Sara Gazerack

Gazerack isn't just a GRAMMY-winning jazz vocalist: she serves as one of the Los Angeles Chapter's Advocacy Representatives and most recently was a Los Angeles Chapter Governor.

This spring, Sarah joined some 60 GRAMMY winners, nominees, and Recording Academy executives in DC for GRAMMYs on the Hill. Sara met with Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IN), and policy staff of Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA).

The Advocacy Day consisted of meetings with Senators and Representatives on Capitol Hill and a visit to the White House for a roundtable discussion on  AI policy, ticket reforms, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the president's work on gun violence, before a special conversation with Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

The Recording Academy commends these Trustees for their commitment to advocacy for music people — and to follow their future work in this regard, keep checking RecordingAcademy.com/Advocacy for up-to-date info!

Illinois Passes AI Digital Replica Protections Law: What To Know About HB 4875

Jeff Becker, Senator Mary Edly-Allen and Dani Deahl
Jeff Becker, Senator Mary Edly-Allen and Dani Deahl

Photo courtesy of the Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus

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Illinois Passes AI Digital Replica Protections Law: What To Know About HB 4875

On Friday, May 24, the Illinois House of Representatives unanimously passed HB 4875, sending the bill to the Governor's desk to become law. Here's what that means for artistic protections for artists and individuals.

Advocacy/May 29, 2024 - 08:41 pm

The Illinois General Assembly is fighting the good fight to protect artists and individuals from unauthorized AI digital replicas.

On Friday, May 24, the Illinois House of Representatives unanimously passed HB 4875, sending the bill to the Governor's desk to become law. HB 4875, which unanimously cleared the state senate earlier in May, modernizes Illinois's existing Right of Publicity law to specifically address the challenges artists face from AI-generated creations and digital replicas.

Since the legislation's introduction by Rep. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz and Senator Mary Edly-Allen the Recording Academy has been an advocate for the bill and how it establishes key safeguards and enforcement mechanisms to ensure an individual's identity is not misappropriated by generative AI. 

In April, members from the Recording Academy's Chicago Chapter went to the state capitol in Springfield for a state advocacy day in support of the bill. Immediately following that day of action, the bill cleared the House of Representatives for the first time and was sent to the Senate for further action. 

And earlier this year, in March, Recording Academy Chicago Chapter Board Members Jeff Becker and Dani Deahl testified in support of the legislation during hearings in the House and Senate. Their testimonies laid the foundation to pass the bill, bringing needed attention and support from state lawmakers. 

"As we embrace AI's potential, we must also be prepared for the risks it presents that are already here. The clearest example of these risks is the ability of AI to steal people's images and voices," Deahl testified. "I myself have had the unsettling experience of hearing my voice replicated by AI, delivering messages I never endorsed. This violation of identity is a profound invasion of personal autonomy."

Once signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Illinois will become the second state in the nation to proactively protect creators from having their likeness replicated without permission by generative AI. In March, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed the ELVIS Act into law to become the first state. The Recording Academy worked closely with the Governor, Tennessee legislators, and other stakeholders in the passage of the groundbreaking law.

The Recording Academy is also prioritizing federal protections to confront this growing threat to human creativity. During this year's GRAMMYs on the Hill, GRAMMY winners and nominees came to Washington, D.C. to urge Members of Congress to support the House's No AI FRAUD Act and the Senate's NO FAKES Act. Both bills would establish similar protections to Illinois's HB 4875. 

For more information on how the Recording Academy continues to fight for artists' rights, keep checking our Advocacy page at recordingacademy.com.

The House Of Representatives Has Passed The TICKET Act: Here's What You Need To Know

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Lauren Daigle and Tammy Hurt in a GOTH meeting with Congressman Moran

Photo: Leigh Vogel

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The House Of Representatives Has Passed The TICKET Act: Here's What You Need To Know

This legislative success for music fans comes just two short weeks after the Recording Academy's GRAMMYs on the Hill Advocacy Day, and passed by an overwhelming bipartisan vote.

Advocacy/May 17, 2024 - 09:32 pm

In an exciting step forward for the music community, the House of Representatives recently passed H.R. 3950, the Transparency In Charges for Key Events Ticketing (TICKET) Act, by an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 388-24. This legislative success comes just two short weeks after the Recording Academy's GRAMMYs on the Hill Advocacy Day.

During the GRAMMYs on the Hill Advocacy Day, over sixty GRAMMY winners, nominees, and Recording Academy executives met with members of Congress to push for ticketing reform, including the House's TICKET Act and the Senate's Fans First Act. Throughout the day, the artist advocates told lawmakers how the broken ticket marketplace impacts their daily lives. Among the group was 2-time GRAMMY winner, Lauren Daigle, who detailed her experiences with bots and resellers driving up ticket prices, emphasizing the impact it has on the individuals hoping to purchase tickets to her shows. These conversations highlighted the importance of protecting the human connection that live music fosters between artists and fans and the clear need for ticket reforms to be passed by congress.

The House-passed TICKET Act brings transparency to the ticketing marketplace by implementing all-in pricing and takes major steps toward ending the harmful practices of speculative ticketing and deceptive websites. The bill, which also guarantees refunds for event cancellations, denotes serious progress in the fight to improve the ticketing marketplace.

The Recording Academy urges the Senate to seize this moment and pass S. 3457, the Fans First Act. The Fans First Act builds upon the House TICKET Act by strengthening its provisions against speculative ticketing and deceptive websites and improving price transparency by not only requiring all-in pricing, but mandating upfront itemization so fans know what they're paying for from the start. The Fans First Act also increases consumer protection by strengthening the BOTS Act and the FTC's ability to enforce any violations.

Upon its passage, Recording Academy CEO, Harvey Mason Jr. expressed gratitude for the bipartisan support and the swift movement of the TICKET Act through the House.

"Today's passage of the TICKET Act by the House of Representatives marks a significant step forward toward improving the concert ticket marketplace. The TICKET Act was a key focus of GRAMMYs on the Hill two weeks ago, and the Recording Academy thanks our Congressional leaders for bringing the bill to a vote shortly after meeting with Academy members.

We now urge the Senate to act quickly to incorporate the strong provisions contained in the Fans First Act and move a comprehensive ticket reform package that will provide transparency and protect artists and their fans. 

The passage of the TICKET Act represents a critical step toward dismantling the predatory practices that undermine this connection. It is a crucial step toward ensuring a more equitable and sustainable marketplace. The legislation not only benefits consumers but also safeguards the livelihoods of artists who depend on fair ticket sales. Its passage proves the power of advocacy and the importance of legislative action in preserving the special bond between artists and their audiences.

As we look forward to the Senate's taking further action on ticketing reform, the Recording Academy will continue to fight for a fairer, more equitable ticketing marketplace that ensures the connection between music makers and fans remains strong and untainted.   

Inside The New York Chapter's Advocacy For The Passage Of A. 127 — How It'd Help Protect Artistic Freedom

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Photo: Lauren Loverde

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Inside The New York Chapter’s Advocacy For The Passage Of A. 127 — How It’d Help Protect Artistic Freedom

At the heart of A.127 is the protection of artistic freedom during legal proceedings. The bill, which has already passed in the Senate, seeks to create standards for when an artist's creative work may be used in criminal trials.

Advocacy/May 15, 2024 - 03:30 pm

On Tuesday, May 7, members of the Recording Academy’s New York chapter took to the state capitol in Albany. Their mission? To advocate for the passage of A.127, a crucial piece of legislation designed to safeguard the creative works of artists across New York.

At the heart of A.127 is the protection of artistic freedom during legal proceedings. The bill, which has already passed in the Senate, seeks to create standards for when an artist's creative work may be used in criminal trials. If enacted into law, this measure would be a significant step towards ensuring that creators can express themselves freely without fear of their work being weaponized against them.

During the Albany Advocacy Day, Recording Academy advocates held meetings with the Assembly Speaker, Carl Heastie, Codes Chairman, Jeffrey Dinowitz, Assembly sponsor, Catalina Cruz, along with key members of the Assembly Codes Committee including, Gary Pretlow, Andrew Hevesi, Linda B. Rosenthal, John Zaccaro, Jr., Kenneth Zebrowski. In addition to these meetings, Recording Academy members met with Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado, the powerful Assembly Black, Hispanic, and Puerto Rican Caucus, and the Assembly Codes Staff. Many key Senators stopped by meetings to reiterate their support for the legislation, including Senate sponsor and Codes Chair, Jamaal Bailey.

Advocates included New York Chapter President Torae Carr, iconic rap artist and producer Papoose, producer and composer Ray Angry, and CEO of 300 Entertainment Kevin Liles. Additionally, Granville Mullins, GRAMMY Nominated Songwriter/Musician, Nathaniel Reichman, GRAMMY Nominated Producer/Mixer, Cassandra Kubinski, Singer/Songwriter, William Derella, Artist Manager and Lynn Gonzalez, Partner, Granderson Des Rochers, LLP were in attendance.

While leaving Albany, Papoose shared an impassioned plea to his followers on Instagram to support the effort.

Just one week later, on May 14, the Assembly Codes Committee advanced the bill out of committee to the Rules Committee, Chaired by the Speaker, priming it for full consideration by the Assembly in the coming weeks.

One of the key issues Academy advocates highlighted in their meetings regarding A.127 is the disproportionate impact that the current practices have on certain communities, particularly Black and Brown artists, who often find their work unfairly scrutinized and misinterpreted in legal settings. While the legislation is not genre-specific, it acknowledges the historical targeting of hip hop and rap artists and seeks to rectify this by requiring prosecutors to show the relevance and admissibility of creative works in court.

The significance of A.127 cannot be overstated, particularly in a state as culturally rich and economically influential as New York. The music industry is a large part of the state's economy, providing over 200,000 jobs and contributing close to $20 billion to its GDP. With a vibrant community of 129,000 songwriters, New York needs to enact this critical legislation that will protect the state's music community.

The Recording Academy’s continued advocacy for A.127 only further highlights the Academy’s dedication to protecting the rights of music creators and upholding the fundamental principles of free expression. As the bill moves forward, it is essential for lawmakers to recognize the importance of protecting creative freedom and ensure that New York remains a beacon of artistic expression.

Inside The Inaugural GRAMMYs On The Hill Future Forum, Exploring The Impact Of AI On The Music Community