Some members of the music community are riled up over Keith Urban’s acceptance speech for Favorite Male Artist at last night’s (1/6) People’s Choice Awards. On stage at the Nokia Theatre LA Live he thanked fans and said the most important thing to him is that people hear his music, even if they download it illegally.
Here’s one reader’s thoughts in an open letter to Music Row:
On Wednesday night (1/6), on the People’s Choice Awards, Keith Urban won the award for Favorite Male Artist. In his acceptance speech, he stated, “I don’t even care if you download it (my music) illegally, give it to your friends, I really don’t care.”
I think it is appalling for one our biggest and brightest stars to openly encourage people to break the law by downloading music illegally.
Urban and wife, Nicole Kidman, likely have millions of dollars. And, he probably won’t miss the royalties when people steal his music. However, I wonder what his label, Capitol Records Nashville, has to say about his statement? And what about his co-writers and other songwriters on Music Row whose talents he depends on to continue with his hugely successful career? Can they afford to work for free?
While other artists such as Madonna, Elton John, Eminem, Sheryl Crow, Jay Z, Lenny Kravitz and other superstars from all genres are speaking out for the rights of songwriters, Keith Urban, in one short statement, sent out a strong message to potentially millions of young listeners around the world – that music is free for the stealing. He “really don’t care.”
I manage and promote songwriters and their record labels who offer free legal downloads of their songs in major publications and on the web in efforts to help promote their careers. But that is their choice. They have given their permission.
Our community of songwriters – and the world music industry at large – have been devastated by the proliferation of illegal downloading and file-sharing. The last thing that we need is for one of our most popular artists to promote the practice.
I think Keith Urban should rethink his position and apologize for his statements – or start giving away tickets to his shows.
Music is owned by the creators – and they should get paid for it. It is not free. We all depend on it for our living.
Owner, Clif Doyal Agency, LLC