Jason Isbell, Emmylou Harris, Sheryl Crow Join New Artist Rights Alliance Music Council

The Artist Rights Alliance, the artist-run, non-profit that championed the Music Modernization Act and CLASSICS Act, has formed a Music Council of advisors filled with Grammy winners and icons. Among those serving on the new council are Jason Isbell, Bette Midler, Cassandra Wilson, Duke Fakir, Elvis Costello, Emmylou Harris, T Bone Burnett, Sheryl Crow, Keb’ Mo’, Steve Earle, and Joan Osborne.

The 93-artist consortium will provide perspective and advisory input, as well as support for the awareness of key issues that face content creators today.

“We are so grateful to our Music Council volunteers who will join with us to advocate for our peers in building a more compassionate and enduring music economy,” said ARA Board Member Rosanne Cash. “It has never been easy for independent musicians to earn a living, and it’s indescribably harder today in the current global crisis. We must work together to defend today’s hardworking musicians, and to protect the next generation of artists.”

Today the ARA also released an Artists’ Bill of Rights to outline their fundamental principles and recommendations for today’s music economy and to keep the artistic community aware of their rights as it pertains to their work. Depicted are policy hotspots, including fair pay from streaming services, copyright law, political participation, curbing industrial-scale piracy, and reining in big technology platforms that unfairly profit from music. ARA staunchly opposes the Liberty Media / iHeartMedia merger, which would give Liberty Media an unprecedented stake in the broadcast media world.

“Even before the pandemic, the music economy was teetering on the edge,” said ARA Board Member and Founder of the alt-rock band CAKE, John McCrea. “Technology companies prosper, while musicians are paid micro-pennies per stream, not to mention the loss of funds from touring. This crisis has laid bare what a slender reed our fellow musicians were hanging onto and calls upon us to get to work building something new and more humane. ARA has always operated on an artist-to-artist model, connecting, engaging, and empowering each other built on the basic truth that no one will fight for you if you aren’t out there fighting for yourself.”

ARA’s Nashville-based educational and grassroots initiatives are led by musicians and creators Erin McAnally and Chelsea Crowell, and the ARA has set up a new website and artists’ forum to serve as an educational resource, advocacy platform, and open meeting place for songwriters and performers to exchange information and organize grassroots activities and campaigns that can be found here.

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About the Author

Hollabaugh, a staff writer at MusicRow magazine, has written for publications including American Profile, CMA Close Up, Nashville Arts And Entertainment, The Boot and Country Weekly. She has a Broadcast Journalism and Speech Communication degree from Texas Christian University, (go Horned Frogs), and welcomes your feedback or story ideas at [email protected]

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