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The American Music Fairness Act : Pass The Act, Grammy U Calls For Radio Royalties



American Music Fairness Act

In this op-ed, members of GRAMMY U argue that American performers deserve to be compensated for radio plays.


If you’ve heard the term once, you’ve likely heard it a thousand times: starving artist. It’s become a common notion in our popular culture that artists must go through a prolonged — or even permanent — period of financial hardship to pursue their dreams of, in our case, making music for a living. To some, this notion of living through poverty to pursue one’s passion may even be seen as noble and necessary for making truly great art.

But it’s important that we call this idea what it is: complete and utter nonsense.

To be sure, plenty of great music has been made from a place of want and hunger, both literal and figurative. If that’s how an artist chooses to live their life and make their art, far be it from us to stand in their way. But far too many aspiring musicians, such as ourselves, never get to make that choice.

The musicians of tomorrow deserve better. We deserve better. After all, we’re no different than anybody else. We want the same things that most people do: a fulfilling job that pays enough to get ahead; the ability to provide for ourselves and our loved ones; and the opportunity to own a home and build a good life. We just want to achieve those things while making music we love.

To do that, artists and musicians like us need to be compensated fairly for the hard work that goes into our music — but unfortunately, that’s not how it is right now. Songwriters get paid for radio plays, but performers do not. For decades, big corporations that own and control thousands of radio stations in the United States have refused to pay performers when they play their music on AM/FM radio. That’s right, they take our product and use it to make billions of dollars from advertising — and then don’t give us a single cent.

The most puzzling part of this is that it’s all legal. America is the only country in the developed world that doesn’t require broadcasters to pay performers for their work. Even worse, in the too-many-to-count countries where radio does pay artists for their music, American artists still get stiffed  because our country doesn’t reciprocate. Imagine, the richest country on Earth, treating the people who make the soundtrack to our lives as if their life’s work is worthless — and allowing a bunch of obsolete laws to say that’s perfectly okay.

No wonder we’ve normalized the notion that artists must constantly make sacrifices to pursue their passion. With the status quo as broken as it is, how are young people like us supposed to make a career out of music without dooming ourselves to a lifetime of financial insecurity? Maybe a few will rise to stardom and headline arena tours, making them financially secure, but what about the rest of us? What about the everyday artists? How are we going to provide for ourselves and our families in a country that allows corporate radio to use our work without even the most basic fairness of paying us for our work?

It’s almost enough to scare you out of chasing your dreams. We probably won’t be able to fix everything overnight, but there is one big thing we can do immediately to start making this right: Pass the American Music Fairness Act.

This bipartisan bill was introduced in the House this summer. It would change the law so radio stations are required to pay artists when they play their songs. The legislation exempts small and non commercial broadcasters, such as college radio stations, but it would finally force radio corporations that can afford to pay to stop exploiting artists.

Changing the law would change the game. That’s why we need to make sure Washington hears our voices, loud and clear. 

If you’re a young person who’s working to build a career making music, or just a fan who wants the next generation of artists to have a fair shot, join us in signing this petition to tell Congress to pass the American Music Fairness Act right now. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build a better tomorrow for the next generation of music makers: to ensure that our work is valued, that our future is secure, and that our dreams are possible.We may be hungry to achieve our goals, but that doesn’t mean we should have to starve to do it.

The 14 coauthors are regional chapter representatives of GRAMMY U, a program of the Recording Academy that connects college students with the music industry’s brightest and most talented minds. Each serves as the voice of the GRAMMY U members in their area, including:

Kalee Kitchens (Atlanta); Kirsten Calabrese (Chicago); Carlie Anderson (Florida); Alondra Lopez (Los Angeles); Emma Hampton (Memphis); Nicole Lewis (Nashville); Sam Merkin (National); Cyrus Burns (New Orleans); Dani Friedman (New York); Cameron Mangione (Pacific Northwest); Breana Phelps (Philadelphia); Cathryn Flores (San Francisco); Alany Rodriguez (Texas); Nia Burnley (Washington, DC)

 Currently the traditional fm stations in US do not pay artists for the music they play on radio but rather pay  songwriters based on the current copyright law. Neither the artist nor the studio professional behind the song get paid.

The Music Fairness Act is a good initiative because, artists, producers, performers and creators would get paid for radio plays and also there would be equality in the copyright law.


Jaden Smith finally launches sustainable luggage line, which was five years in the making




Jaden Smith has launched his latest, long-awaited venture – a range of high-end suitcases made from post-consumer plastic waste. Called the Harper Collective, it aims to help usher in a new era of sustainable travel.

Five years in the making, Harper Collective is the brainchild of Smith – an actor, musician, environmental activist and son of actor Will Smith – and ex-merchandise director of Selfridges Sebastian Manes.

Together, the pair set out to create a line of lightweight, durable cases from reclaimed plastic waste, which not only tackles the issue of plastic, but is good-looking enough to appeal to a discerning clientele.

The cabin-sized case by Harper Collective. Photo: Harper Collective

The pair admit that there were “numerous mistakes along the way”, but they have now revealed pieces that are stylish with a utilitarian design. They are offered in four sizes – cabin, medium, large and trunk – in black and dark green, with black or silver hardware.

Founders Jaden Smith and Sebastian Manes. Photo: Harper Collective

Working in conjunction with a German plastic specialist company Epsotech, each suitcase is moulded from strong, lightweight Sea Plastic polymer HDPE, which uses 70 per cent post-consumer waste, while the remaining third is virgin plastic.

This marks the first time this new formula of plastic has been used for suitcases, and Manes said that every step had to be tested and double-checked.

“We started with 98 per cent recycled plastic, but found we could not effectively mould it into an effective end-product,” says Manes. “Developing the product has taken five years.”


The case lining is quilted, recycled nylon by Barbour. Photo: Harper CollectiveThe case lining is quilted, recycled nylon by Barbour. Photo: Harper Collective

The use of virgin plastic seems to fly in the face of what the company is setting out to do – which is to reduce the use of new plastic, and instead rework some of the estimated 6.3 billion metric tonnes that litter the planet. However, Smith and Manes are quick to acknowledge that this is still a work in progress.

“We understand that perfection is not always attainable in manufacturing,” they say. “But we believe in continuous improvement and innovation to produce better and more sustainable products for our customers.”

Despite the use of virgin plastic, Manes says the final product still sits within the company’s main objectives. “This material mix supports Harper

Collective’s promise that all materials are recyclable at the end of the luggage’s lifetime,” he adds.

This is far from Smith’s first foray into socially conscious business. At age 12, after witnessing plastic waste in the sea, he launched the social enterprise Just, using only replenishable rainwater bottled in packaging made from 88 per cent plant materials. He also worked with New Balance to create the Jaden 574 trainer, made using surplus materials, and also co-founded MSFTS, a sustainable streetwear brand.

He opened the I Love You food truck, selling only vegan food with the premise that anyone homeless could eat for free, while others not only had to pay, but would be charged over the odds “to pay for the person behind you,” he explained to Variety. In 2021 he also enlisted his famous family to launch Hey Humans, a vegan beauty line.

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Will Smith Visits Botswana And Promises ‘More To Come’ From Trip To Africa




American Hollywood star Will Smith  visited Botswana for the first time.

On Monday( June 19 ), Will smith shared a snippet of his travel on Twitter. “My first time in Botswana… WOW!! More to come. As long as @JasDavis_ don’t keep overheating our cameras” he captioned .

In the snippet, Smith 54, landed before going on safari.

“What if we get inspired and we want to ride an elephant?” he asks the ranger.

“No, you can’t ride an elephant,” he says, moments after Smith makes a heroes pose with the sun setting in the background.

Photo: Will smith in Botswana

“Shoot your own footage, Jas,” he says later on to Davis, who it appears is in charge of managing the actor’s social media, as he continues to capture all that Africa has to offer.

Will smith visited  Okavango Delta, a world  heritage sites in Botswana.

Will smith was very happy as he captured all that Africa offered. However, it’s unclear what he shot in Botswana.

Botswana, known for its vast landscapes, abundant wildlife, and warm hospitality.

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Andell From “The Parkers” and “Moesha” Died in Real Life From Cancer at Age 48




Yvette Wilson was an immensely talented actress and comedian who made a significant impact on the entertainment industry during her career. Born in Los Angeles, California, Wilson began her journey in the 1990s, gaining recognition for her role as Andell Wilkerson on the hit sitcom “Moesha.”

Her memorable performance on the show led to her role in the spin-off series, “The Parkers,” where she continued to captivate audiences with her comedic timing and infectious energy. Wilson’s versatile talent allowed her to effortlessly transition between television and film, appearing in popular movies like “House Party 2” and “Friday.” With her vibrant personality and undeniable charm, Wilson left an indelible mark on the entertainment world.

Tragically, Wilson’s life was cut short when she passed away in June 2012 at the age of 48. She had been battling cervical cancer, and her untimely death left her fans and colleagues devastated. Her legacy, however, lives on through her unforgettable performances, reminding us of all the talent and the joy she brought to millions of viewers.

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