Yolanda Adams performs during the 2016 GRAMMYs On The Hill
Photo: Kris Connor/Getty Images
Yolanda Adams & More GRAMMYs On The Hill Awards Honorees Announced
This year's GRAMMYs on the Hill Awards, to be held on April 9, will honor Yolanda Adams for her advocacy and Kristin Chenoweth for her philanthropy, as well as Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) for their decisive roles in last year's Congress, getting the Music Modernization Act across the finish line and signed into law.
"GRAMMYs on the Hill clearly has an impact and makes a difference," said Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow. "It is no coincidence that just one week after last year's Awards and Advocacy Day, the Music Modernization Act unanimously passed the House of Representatives, paving the way for the bill to later be signed into law. Through the continued dialogue between music creators and Congress, we are ensuring a viable future for music makers."
As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee in last year's Congress, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) led his chamber's unanimous support for the MMA in its final form as an omnibus package, combining several separately considered bills. Grassley originally introduced the Allocation For Music Producers Act (AMP) in the Senate, which was an important component of the MMA, adding producers and engineers to copyright law for the first time. Upon being elected President pro tempore of the Senate in January 2019, Grassley now presides over the chamber as its most senior member.
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) co-introduced a songwriter-focused version of the Music Modernization Act in the House on Dec. 21, 2017. "The House Judiciary Committee has undertaken a thorough review of the issues that adversely affect stakeholders in the copyright ecosystem," said Jeffries at the time, praising the MMA for "increasing efficiency and providing greater transparency." His committee was noteworthy for its scope of hearings into music and copyright, and Jeffries' questions to witnesses helped build the consensus that resulted in generational copyright reform. As the newly elected House Democratic Caucus Chairman, Jeffries’s leadership will advance the rights of all creators in the 116th Congress.
Four-time GRAMMY-winning gospel artist Yolanda Adams will receive the Recording Academy's Creators Leadership Award in thanks for her advocacy on behalf of artists in tandem with her philanthropic giving. Current President of the Recording Academy Texas Chapter, Adams has supported her fellow artists and songwriters through many decades of advocacy work. In addition, her support for MusiCares and other charities including St. Jude Children's Research Hospital has been selfless, both through performances and by means of financial support.
In thanks for her generous giving both personally and financially, Kristin Chenoweth will be honored with the GRAMMYs on the Hill Philanthropist Award. Recognized with Tony and Emmy awards as a Broadway performer and television actress, she also appears in films including as the animated Gabi in Rio 2. Growing up outside Tulsa in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, her leadership in the Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center has made it the focus of a revitalized arts district. She also conducts a Broadway Boot Camp to help youngsters understand how to audition and pursue careers in theater. A long-time supporter of MusiCares, Chenoweth performed at the 2011 MusiCares Person Of The Year tribute to Barbra Streisand.
The awards dinner and show will take place at the Hamilton Live in Washington, D.C., with live performances from both Adams and Chenoweth as well as additional special guests.
The following morning, on April 10, GRAMMYs on the Hill Advocacy Day is a special occasion for the music community to engage with lawmakers and staff fully. Considered Capitol Hill's largest policy event for music, both lawmakers and music advocates are able to share perspectives looking ahead to the future, and continue their work to ensure fair compensation for artists, songwriters and producers on unresolved issues.