GRAMMYs on the Hill 2017: The Call to Support Music
On April 5th, 2017, the Recording Academy hosted its annual GRAMMYs on the Hill Awards in Washington, DC. The ceremony was celebrated amongst a distinguished crowd of music creators and supporters, including GRAMMY winners and nominees and more than 60 members of Congress. Over 300 guests came together to support music and the arts and call for immediate action on music legislation reform, making GRAMMYs on the Hill 2017 the largest music advocacy event in Washington.
Multi- GRAMMY winner Keith Urban, and Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) were this year’s honorees, recognized for their contributions to the music community. Urban gave an impassioned speech to members of Congress about the importance of music education and the need for music programs across the U.S., as he accepted the Academy’s Recording Artist’s Coalition Award for his outstanding achievements. The dinner was hosted by singer/songwriter Martina McBride and included performances by Urban, singer/songwriter John Popper of Blues Traveler, and GRAMMY winner Wynonna Judd, as well as a special presentation by renowned television composer Jonathan Wolff.
Other attendees included GRAMMY-winning producer Peter Asher, GRAMMY-winning Americana artist William Bell, GRAMMY-winning producer Steve Berkowitz, rapper Chill Moody, producer and singer/songwriter Kara DioGuardi, Duke Fakir of Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award recipients the Four Tops, GRAMMY winner Rory Feek of Joey+Rory, GRAMMY-nominated contemporary Christian singer/songwriter Natalie Grant, country music artist Jack Ingram, GRAMMY and Latin GRAMMY winners Jesse & Joy, GRAMMY-winning engineer/producer Dmitriy Lipay, Kirstin Maldonado of GRAMMY winners Pentatonix, GRAMMY-nominated R&B singer/songwriter Mario, GRAMMY-winning producer Harvey Mason, Jr., Lukes Morgan of GRAMMY-winning reggae band Morgan Heritage, Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick, GRAMMY-nominated R&B singer/songwriter Kelly Price, GRAMMY-winning blues singer Bobby Rush, rapper Uncle Luke of 2 Live Crew, and singer/songwriter VASSY.
The next day on April 6th, more than 100 creators and Academy leaders participated in GRAMMYs on the Hill Advocacy Day to meet face to face with members of Congress and discuss how current music legislation affects their livelihoods. The morning began with a briefing at The Hamilton and continued to the Capitol where Academy members set off to their various meetings. In the more than 60 individuals meetings that occurred, Academy members stressed the need to modernize the copyright system and lobbied for the Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act and the Fair Play Fair Pay Act. Additionally, members advocated for full funding of the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA).
GRAMMYs on the Hill 2017 ended on a high note when House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi joined members for a luncheon at the Capitol to close Advocacy Day. The Congresswoman thanked attendees for their valiant efforts over the past two days and proved to be a strong ally as she demonstrated her passion for music and the arts.
Individuals can still add their voice to GRAMMYs on the Hill by using the Academy’s online advocacy tool to write their representatives in Congress and ask them to support pro-music legislation.
Watch highlights from the event here.