Today, the Recording Academy® announced four-time GRAMMY®-winning artist Yolanda Adams will join nationally-recognized songwriter Sue Ennis as Co-Chair of the Academy’s National Advocacy Committee. Serving as the voice for all music creators alongside the Academy’s Advocacy team in Washington, D.C., the committee is comprised of leading performers, producers, songwriters, and studio engineers, and works to determine specific policy positions of the Recording Academy and advance the interests of all music creators.
“We’re honored to have Yolanda lead the Recording Academy’s Advocacy Committee alongside hit songwriter Sue Ennis to help push forward vital legislation as our industry navigates the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond,” said Harvey Mason Jr., Chair and Interim President/CEO of the Recording Academy. “We’ve seen first-hand how music has the power to influence meaningful change, and we’re confident the Advocacy Committee’s wide breadth of backgrounds and perspectives provide a unique opportunity to build on the Academy’s successful efforts this summer in the fight for creators’ rights.”
Adams brings a strong advocacy background to the committee. She recently testified at a congressional hearing on intellectual property, sharing her perspective on the monetary and moral implications of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s Fair Use doctrine. Adams also participated in the Academy’s 7th annual District Advocate Day on Aug. 12, advocating alongside nearly 2,000 music professionals for critical support for the music community as it continues dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Advocacy Committee will build on the work of the Recording Academy’s “Summer of Advocacy” initiative and the recent achievements by creators, including securing important provisions in the CARES Act by championing legislation that ensures individual creators, as well as small and medium-sized music businesses, including those that are minority-owned, receive the support they need. This includes:
HITS Act, which allows an individual to fully expense for tax purposes the cost of new studio recordings on their taxes, up to $150,000, within the same year of production;
Mixed Earner Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Act, which ensures unemployment relief for independent workers with mixed income types, a category that includes many music creators across the country;
RESTART Act, which responds to the urgent needs of hard-hit recording studios, concert venues, and other music businesses and nonprofits by creating a loan program to help keep them afloat through the remainder of 2020, and provide loan forgiveness as a backstop against continuing economic challenges; and
Save Our Stages Act, which ensures that live music venues would have access to special grants designed to keep these critical facilities afloat for the next six months.
Other Advocacy Committee members include GRAMMY-winning composer, producer, and singer Claudia Brant; GRAMMY-nominated artist Terry Jones; GRAMMY-winning engineer Emily Lazar; and GRAMMY-nominated artist, songwriter, and producer Rico Love. Chair and Interim President/CEO of the Recording Academy Harvey Mason jr. and Chief Advocacy Officer Emily Lazar. Daryl P. Friedman serve as ex-officio members.