Left Image by Paul Morigi/WireImage for The Recording Academy
(L) Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and (R) Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)
Sens. Feinstein And Blackburn Introduce The HITS Act In The Senate
Today, Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) introduced the HITS Act in the Senate, serving as a companion to the version introduced in the House
Today, Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) introduced the Help Independent Tracks Succeed (HITS) Act in the Senate. A small tax incentive to help get independent artists back in the studio, the HITS Act allows these artists to deduct 100% of their production expenses in the United States, up to $150,000, in the year expenses are incurred. The legislation serves as a companion bill to the House of Representatives version (H.R.7886), which was introduced by Reps. Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.) and Ron Estes (R-Kan.) earlier this year.
Recording Academy Chair and Interim President/CEO Harvey Mason jr. applauded Sens. Feinstein and Blackburn's legislation. "Today's introduction of the HITS Act in the Senate lays the groundwork for creators to produce new music and create jobs amidst a year filled with economic uncertainty. This change in the tax code – similar to the tax treatment of other creative industries -- will incentivize more music production. The Recording Academy thanks Senators Feinstein and Blackburn for their leadership on this issue and for introducing the Senate companion to the House bill, which already enjoys broad, bipartisan support."
In a joint press release, Sens. Feinstein and Blackburn stressed the importance of passing the HITS Act. "Because most large, public gatherings have been prohibited since the pandemic began, musicians and music producers have been among the hardest hit by the coronavirus," Senator Feinstein said about the HITS Act. "Our bill would provide relief by allowing independent musicians, technicians and producers to deduct their production expenses in the same year they occur, rather than forcing them to spread those deductions out over several years. This is in line with how expenses are treated for film, television and theater productions, and it makes sense to create parity for music productions."
"Singers and songwriters lift our spirits and now need our help to get past the pandemic," Senator Blackburn said. "These artists are the lifeblood of Nashville's creative community. This bipartisan legislation will provide additional tax deductions to ease the burden facing our creative community by allowing our independent artists to fully deduct the cost of producing their music."
The Recording Academy recently sent a letter to Congressional leadership advocating for the inclusion of pro-creator policies in future COVID-centric stimulus packages, including a call to pass the HITS Act. The letter, which was also signed by 21 organizations in the music community, argued that, "Congress must ensure that tax relief reaches musicians and workers in the performing arts by passing the Performing Artist Tax Parity Act and the HITS Act." The letter concludes with a call for Congress to take action before the conclusion of the year, stating, "We hope that with your leadership, Congress, in the upcoming lame duck session, will take this clear opportunity to save American music, culture, and countless small businesses."
Mason also called on Congress to pass the bipartisan and now bicameral HITS Act in a recent opinion piece featured in The Hill. A creator himself, Mason advocated for the positive financial benefit of this modest tax bill, especially in a post-pandemic music ecosystem. "With music venues remaining closed, music creators have struggled to find sustainable ways to earn a livable income. Instead, many are using this time to create and produce new music, with the goal of returning to the studio in order to record," argued Mason.
Let's hope Congress takes swift action on the HITS Act in order to provide relief to struggling creators before the conclusion of this year!
Read Harvey Mason jr.'s full opinion piece in The Hill.
Harvey Mason jr.
Photo courtesy of the Milken Institute
Watch Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. Appear On "Drop The Mic: The Business Of Music" Panel
Comprising more than 180 public and private sessions, Milken Institute Global Conference 2022 featured a captivating panel called "Drop The Mic: The Business Of Music" — featuring Mason alongside other music business leaders.
The Recording Academy's very own CEO, Harvey Mason Jr., just got deep on the mechanics of the music biz. On May 4, Mason participated in the Milken Institute Global Conference 2022, appearing on the panel "Drop the Mic: The Business of Music."
Moderated by Shirley Halperin and featuring additional speakers Marc Cimino (Chief Operating Officer, Universal Music Publishing Group), Sherrese Clarke Soares (Founder and CEO, HarbourView Equity Partners) and Scott Pascucci (Chief Executive Officer, Concord), "Drop The Mic" explored how the music business has expanded beyond playing records and attending live concerts.
In 2022 and beyond, the industry encompasses downloads, catalog buys, creative NFTs that serve as souvenirs, virtual experiences, and a whole lot more. In the below video, captivating speakers detail how we can follow these developments into a brave new world for music and music people.
Comprising more than 180 public and private sessions, Milken Institute Global Conference 2022 featured nearly 2,000 attendees participating in-person — along with thousands more viewing the livestream from around the world.
Enjoy the video, which clocks in at more than an hour, and keep checking RecordingAcademy.com for updates on how the music business continues to evolve, flourish and thrive as a nurturer of the world.
GRAMMYs On The Hill Honorees Named
Legendary artist and producer Quincy Jones — 27-time GRAMMY winner and The Recording Academy's ambassador for its 50th Celebration — will headline a day of music advocacy as part of The Academy's GRAMMYs on The Hill activities in the nation's
Quincy Jones, Sen. Ted Kennedy and Rep. Marsha Blackburn to be saluted
Legendary artist and producer Quincy Jones — 27-time GRAMMY winner and The Recording Academy's ambassador for its 50th Celebration — will headline a day of music advocacy as part of The Academy's GRAMMYs on The Hill activities in the nation's capital on Sept. 5, it was announced today by The Recording Academy.
Events will include a unique afternoon jam session with GRAMMY-winning artist Keb' Mo' and members of Congress. Later that evening at an awards gala, Jones will be honored for his lifelong contributions to American music, and honorees Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) will be recognized for their legislative support of the arts and music creators.
Among the luminaries joining Keb' Mo' to salute the honorees will be four-time GRAMMY winner and Recording Academy Chair Jimmy Jam, Academy President Neil Portnow, nine-time GRAMMY winner Ray Benson (of Asleep At The Wheel), "Godfather of Go-Go" Chuck Brown, GRAMMY-winning songwriter Brett James ("Jesus Take The Wheel"), country superstar John Rich (of Big & Rich), four-time GRAMMY winner BeBe Winans and seven-time GRAMMY winner CeCe Winans.
"GRAMMYs on the Hill connects top music makers — from singers and songwriters to producers and engineers — with members of Congress in Washington to shed light on the effect music has in enriching our lives," said Portnow. "This year, as part of our 50th Celebration activities, we will highlight the importance of music preservation and education so that it continues to thrive in our culture for years to come."
Throughout the day, more than 120 music professionals from across the country will come to Washington to speak to legislators about promoting policies that improve the environment for music and its makers. Earlier in the day on Capitol Hill, the GRAMMY Foundation will showcase its programs with a special performance by Keb' Mo', who will jam with members of the Recording Arts and Sciences Congressional Caucus (the "Congressional GRAMMY Band" — a group of musician members of Congress who have informally jammed at previous Academy advocacy events) in the Cannon House Office Building Caucus Room on Capitol Hill.
That evening, GRAMMYs on the Hill will move to the ballroom of the Willard Inter-Continental Hotel for its 7th annual gala dinner where The Recording Academy will honor Jones, Sen. Kennedy and Rep. Blackburn. Chesnee High School of South Carolina will receive the GRAMMY Foundation's Signature School Award and Scholarship for its outstanding commitment to music education.
The Recording Academy Reveals Leadership Council For Newly Launched Black Music Collective
The distinguished leadership committee will work with honorary chairs to elevate Black music creators and professionals
The Recording Academy's newly launched Black Music Collective (BMC), a group of prominent Black music creators and professionals who share the common goal of amplifying Black voices within the Academy and the wider music community, has announced a distinguished leadership council. The leadership committee is dedicated to progressing the Recording Academy's mission to achieve equitable representation across its membership and the music industry.
The collective will serve as a space for members to speak openly about new and emerging opportunities in Black music alongside an inspiring group of groundbreaking Black music creators and business leaders. Leadership has already begun creating and identifying programming that will encourage the acceleration of Black membership within the Academy.
Members of the leadership council will join Honorary Chairs Jeffrey Harleston, Jimmy Jam, Quincy Jones, Debra Lee, John Legend and Sylvia Rhone to work hand in hand to elevate the mission of the collective. Recording Academy Trustee Riggs Morales serves as the BMC Chair and Washington, D.C., Chapter Executive Director Jeriel Johnson is the Executive Sponsor.
The Black Music Collective's Distinguished Leadership Committee includes the following accomplished music professionals:
- Yolanda Adams, Artist
- Brianna Agyemang, Executive
- Derek "MixedByAli" Ali, Engineer
- Tunde Balogun, Executive
- Tuma Basa, Executive
- Aloe Blacc, Artist
- Boi-1da, Producer
- Catherine Brewton, Executive
- Terri Lyne Carrington, Musician
- D-Nice, Artist
- Phylicia Fant, Executive
- H.E.R., Artist
- Om'Mas Keith, Producer
- Rico Love, Songwriter
- Heather Lowery, Executive
- Riggs Morales, Executive and BMC Chair
- Steve Pamon, Executive
- Tayla Parx, Songwriter
- Ryan Press, Executive
- Rashid Shabazz, Executive
- Jamila Thomas, Executive
- Dion "No-I.D." Wilson, Producer
"Our time is now and I'm so excited to add my voice in whatever way I can to honor those who came before me, those who worked building the foundation in this important work in music," H.E.R. said. "Initiatives like this help give a voice to young and emerging artists who dream of an even bigger future. We're all in this together."
"This is a new era of change for the Recording Academy and we are honored to have these leading artists, executives, producers and engineers who are all at the top of their fields join us for such an important moment in our world, our nation and our industry," Harvey Mason jr., chair and interim president/CEO of the Recording Academy, said. "Black music is part of the fabric of our industry and it is so reassuring to stand with these leaders to create momentum, bring change and amplify Black voices."
"We're energized by our partnership with such an esteemed group of Black music leaders who share our mission to foster and accelerate Black representation, equity and inclusion throughout the music industry," Valeisha Butterfield Jones, chief diversity & inclusion officer of the Recording Academy, said. "We've doubled down on our partnership with these leaders and are committed to the work ahead."
Stay up to date on the BMC's progress here.