At the 2017 GRAMMYs on the Hill Awards on April 5, GRAMMY winner Keith Urban was recognized with the Recording Artists' Coalition Award for his contributions to the music community and music education programs. Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) were also saluted for being "incredible supporters" of music and the arts. Labeled Washington's "most interesting mix of music and politics," the event doubled both as an opportunity to celebrate the cultural institutions of music and the arts, and to highlight the critical issues affecting music creators' rights, including the Fair Play Fair Pay Act.
Watch Keith Urban's full remarks at the 2017 GRAMMYs on the Hill Awards on April 5 in Washington, D.C. Urban, recipient of the Recording Artists' Coalition Award, discusses topics such as how the guitar become his "voice" as a child, his parents' support on the road to becoming a working musician, seeing Johnny Cash in concert at age 5, his personal passion for music education in schools, and how his high school music teacher, Mrs. Grimmer, inspired him.
"What I ask is a broader conversation that involves seeing and thinking about music education in a different way," said Urban. "It's not just some frivolous edge activity that's on the periphery that can be discarded. … Music has a profound need and requirement in schools and in kids' lives."
The GRAMMYs on the Hill Awards also honored Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) for their ongoing support of music. Hosted by Martina McBride, the event celebrated the cultural institutions of music and the arts, and highlighted critical issues affecting music creators' rights.
GRAMMY-winning recording artist Maria Schneider testifies at a House Judiciary Committee hearing in March 2014.
(Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow's speech on the 59th GRAMMY Awards telecast on Feb. 12, 2017, at Staples Center in Los Angeles.)
Hey James, thanks for warming up the crowd for me. Appreciate it. We are constantly reminded about the things that divide us. Race, region and religion. Gender, sexual orientation, political party. But what we need so desperately are more reminders of all that binds us together — our shared history, our common values and our dedication to build for ourselves a more perfect union. More than a century ago, a poem was combined with a musical composition and became an instantly recognizable song the world over. Let's see if you know it?
[Performance by 18-year-old GRAMMY Camp — Jazz Session trumpeter Miranda Agnew]
Thank you, Miranda. "America The Beautiful" captures the essence of our country and reminds us that we are — and always will be — one people, from sea to shining sea. In times of triumph and tragedy, we turn to song and the abiding power of music to lift our spirits, soothe our souls and remind us that everything will be OK.
President John F. Kennedy once observed, "The life of the arts is very close to the center of a nation's purpose, and is a test of the quality of a nation's civilization." That's so true. And that's why we must be loud and clear in our unwavering support of music and the arts and those who create it.
Behind the extraordinary artists you've seen here on our stage are hundreds and thousands of unsung musicians and songwriters, producers, and engineers — American creators — whose jobs suffer from outdated rules and regulations, some going back 100 years.
So, The Recording Academy, together with America's music makers, call on the president and Congress to help keep the music playing by updating music laws, protecting music education and renewing America's commitment to the arts. It's our collective responsibility to preserve what binds us and to ensure that the whole world continues to benefit from one of our most unique [and] economically and spiritually important assets — and exports. American music.
Add your voice to show you #SupportMusic. Text GRAMMY to 52886.
Watch Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow and Common's remarks regarding the value of creators who work to earn a living in the music industry at the 58th GRAMMY Awards on Feb. 15, 2016, at Staples Center in Los Angeles. During their remarks, Portnow and Common were joined by 58th GRAMMY nominee Joey Alexander.
GRAMMY winners Zac Brown Band were among the honorees at the 2016 GRAMMYs on the Hill Awards on April 13 in Washington, D.C., where they were presented with the Recording Artists' Coalition Award. Reps. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) and Thomas J. Rooney (R-Fla.) were also honored for their support of fair pay for music creators. Hosted by GRAMMY-winning singer/songwriter Jim Lauderdale, the event, known as "Washington's most interesting mix of music and politics," also featured performances by Warren Haynes, Collective Soul's Ed Roland and Zac Brown Band, among others.
Alicia Keys was among the honorees at the 2015 GRAMMYs on the Hill Awards on April 15 in Washington, D.C. First lady Michelle Obama presented the Recording Artists' Coalition Award to the 15-time GRAMMY winner. Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) were also honored for their support of music creators' unique role in American life. The event, known as "Washington's most interesting mix of music and politics," also featured performances by Hunter Hayes, Angela Hunte and Ledisi, among others.