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Steven Tyler Op-Ed — Politicians: Respect And Protect Copyright
Steven Tyler

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Steven Tyler Op-Ed — Politicians: Respect And Protect Copyright

GRAMMY Creators Alliance co-founder calls for changes to outdated copyright laws that are hindering music creators

GRAMMYs/Oct 14, 2015 - 11:26 pm

(The following op-ed was originally published via the Huffington Post.)

This week, I sent a letter to Donald Trump's campaign asking to not use my music at political rallies. My intent was not to make a political statement, but to make one about the rights of my fellow music creators. But I've been singing this song for a while now.

In February, I became a founding member of the GRAMMY Creators Alliance. The Alliance joined many big names in the music business, not for ourselves, but for the up-and-coming songwriters and artists. To bring hope. To try and change laws that are hindering the music biz. To make sure that songwriters and artists can practice their art without threat of extinction. To make sure those who practice their craft get paid fairly when others use their work.

I'm not alone in my efforts to bring change. Today, more than 1,650 musicians and songwriters will be visiting their local Congress members in their home offices as part of our grassroots program, GRAMMYs In My District.

Big changes are happening right now in copyright reform as a result of massive technology changes and with the way fans pay for music and consume music. These changes can be a good thing for songwriters and up-and-coming artists, if we are paid fairly by those who make money using our work. Everyone deserves to be able to pay their bills, support their families, and do the work they love. Too many can't because we are being shortchanged by new and old technology companies.

Now, I don't blame all the new technologies, some are really cool. You can listen to music wherever you are, make up your own playlists, and hear what you want when you want. That's powerful, and at least they are paying creators something! The old technology companies do not pay artists; not one penny! And they are paying songwriters the minimum that the law says they should pay.

The laws need to change. We have so many laws in America that control how we get paid for our music. Seventy-five percent of songwriters' income in the U.S. is regulated by the government? Too much government intervention in art and music is a bad thing.

Just as my record label sister, Taylor Swift, wrote her letter to Apple in June, this is my open letter to everyone. We need change. Songwriters, producers and artists can't survive on what they are being paid.

I received a real lesson on this a couple years ago when I started to look into laws surrounding copyright. I found out that there was an effort underway in Washington to strip certain important approval rights of artists and songwriters for derivative use of their work. When I heard about this crazy idea, I submitted an official comment paper to the folks in Washington D.C., along with a few of my friends like Don Henley and Joe Walsh of the Eagles, Deadmau5, Britney, Dr. Dreand Sting explaining why this was a bad idea. It's not about Wall Street derivatives; it's about artists and songwriters losing control of their work and not getting paid fairly when it is used. More of the same, I thought. It taught me that creators have to be vigilant and fight for their rights.

After that, I took a trip to D.C. where I met with a lot of important Congress members to let them know that that any time artists and songwriters lose the right over how their music is used, it is devastating to them. Many of these Congress people I spoke to were shocked to learn that this really bothered musicians and songwriters and some even changed their views, all because we made the effort to let them know how we feel.

In D.C., I met with Congressman Bob Goodlatte from Virginia. This guy really gets it! His district in the Blue Ridge Mountains is home to some great songwriters and artists. He really believes that the laws need to change so that songwriters and artists are paid fairly, and he is doing something about it. Goodlatte has personally overseen 20 hearings on copyright reform over the past two years, creating a forum so that creators' voices can be heard.

On Wednesday, our voice will ring out again. Three hundred and fifty members of Congress will get a knock on their door from their music making constituents. They will be there to deliver a very clear message of themselves and creators all over America. It's time for change.

We know you love our music. Now is the time to show us some love by supporting the effort to reform outdated copyright laws, do away with government standard for artist compensation, and make sure creators are paid fairly when other businesses use our work.

(Steven Tyler is an American singer.songwriter and the frontman for the GRAMMY-winning band Aerosmith.)

Lizzo, Billie Eilish, Aerosmith, Gwen Stefani And Blake Shelton To Perform At The 2020 GRAMMYs

Lizzo

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Lizzo, Billie Eilish, Aerosmith, Gwen Stefani And Blake Shelton To Perform At The 2020 GRAMMYs

Some of music's biggest stars will take the stage at the 62nd GRAMMY Awards, taking place Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, and broadcasting live on CBS at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT

GRAMMYs/Jan 8, 2020 - 07:32 pm

Get ready to #UnexpectEverything as the first wave of performers for the 62nd GRAMMY Awards has been announced. Artists taking the stage on Music's Biggest Night are first-time nominee breakout stars Billie Eilish and Lizzo, who will each make their GRAMMY stage debuts; powerhouse artists Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani, who will take the GRAMMY stage together for the first time ever; and four-time GRAMMY winners and 2020 MusiCares Person of the Year Aerosmith, who will perform a medley of some of their legendary hits. It all goes down on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, live from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles and broadcasted live on the CBS Television Network at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

Rock icons Aerosmith make their triumphant return to the GRAMMY stage this month as performers, nearly 30 years after making their GRAMMY stage debut at the 33rd GRAMMY Awards in 1991. In addition to their career-spanning performance, the legendary band is also being honored as this year's MusiCares Person Of The Year, which will recognize their considerable philanthropic efforts over five decades as well as their undeniable impact on American music history. Through the years, Aerosmith have shown support for a number of charities around the world, including frontman Steven Tyler’s Janie’s Fund.

The 2020 GRAMMYs will also feature highly anticipated debut performances from two of the biggest breakout artists of the past two years: Billie Eilish and Lizzo. 

First-time GRAMMY nominee and performer Billie Eilish is in the running for some of the night's biggest awards, including: Best New Artist; Album Of The Year and Best Pop Vocal Album for her 2019 album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?; and Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year and Best Pop Solo Performance for album single "Bad Guy."

Lizzo, who received the most nominations at the 2020 GRAMMYs with a total of eight nods, is making her debut as both a GRAMMY nominee and performer this month. She's up for several major awards, including Best New Artist. Her 2019 album, Cuz I Love You [Deluxe], is also up for Album Of The Year and Best Urban Contemporary Album, while album track "Truth Hurts" is nominated for Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year and Best Pop Solo Performance. Album tracks "Exactly How I Feel" and "Jerome" are also nominated for Best R&B Performance and Best Traditional R&B Performance, respectively. 

Taking the GRAMMY stage together for the first time ever, three-time GRAMMY winner Gwen Stefani will perform alongside Blake Shelton, a current GRAMMY nominee who's up for Best Country Solo Performance for his 2019 track, "God’s Country."

Tune in to the 62nd GRAMMY Awards, which are once again hosted by Alicia Keys, on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, and broadcasting live on CBS at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT to catch all these amazing performances and to see who will take home the night's biggest awards. 

Camila Cabello, H.E.R., Jonas Brothers, Bonnie Raitt & More To Perform At The 2020 GRAMMY Awards

Aerosmith Cancel Shows For Steven Tyler's Health

Steven Tyler

Photo: Robin Marchant/Getty Images

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Aerosmith Cancel Shows For Steven Tyler's Health

Tyler reveals he needs immediate rest, but also reassures fans that his medical issues are not life-threatening

GRAMMYs/Sep 27, 2017 - 03:52 am

Aerosmith has canceled four shows in order to allow singer Steven Tyler to rest and recover from unexpected medical issues, according to Rolling Stone.

While the nature of Tyler's medical issues have not been disclosed, a reassuring statement from the band states, "Steven is expected to make a full recovery, with proper rest and treatment he will be back on his feet soon, rocking the world."

Tyler added some reassurance of his own, sharing a message with his fans affected by the cancellation.

"To everybody in South America — Brazil, Chile, Argentina, and Mexico — I'm very sorry and feel like I've let you down. I won't be able to continue the last four shows of this tour. I flew back to the U.S. on doctor's orders last night after the show in São Paulo.

"Please not to worry," Tyler continued, "I am not in a life-threatening condition, but I need to deal with this right away and get some rest and medical care immediately in order to sustain and maintain my future performances. I promise I'll be back. Unfortunately, health does not wait and it's something even I can't schedule around our shows. As they say, 'We humans make plans, and God laughs.' I love you all and will be back with you soon."

Other members of the band stayed in Brazil, signing autographs and taking photos with fans to show their appreciation

Noel Gallagher To Auction Off Gear Used On Oasis Tour

7th Annual MusiCares MAP Fund Benefit
Martin Gore and Dave Gahan perform at the MusiCares MAP Fund benefit concert

Photo: Jordan Strauss/WireImage.com

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7th Annual MusiCares MAP Fund Benefit

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 04:22 am

Welcome to The Set List. Here you'll find the latest concert recaps for many of your favorite, or maybe not so favorite, artists. In this special installment of The Set List, we're bringing you the scoop from the seventh annual MusiCares MAP Fund benefit, honoring Depeche Mode frontman Dave Gahan and Vans Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman. As always, our bloggers will do their best to provide you with every detail of the show, from which artists performed to who made a guest appearance. Hey, it'll be like you were there. And if you like what you read and want to know more, you can learn all about the MusiCares Foundation here. Feel free to drop us a comment and let us know your thoughts and/or questions. Oh, and rock on.

By Jamie Harvey
Los Angeles

There's something about a benefit show featuring great music for a great cause — something intangible that makes for a truly unique experience. The seventh annual MusiCares MAP Fund benefit concert, honoring Depeche Mode lead vocalist Dave Gahan and Vans Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman, at Club Nokia in Los Angeles on May 6 was such an occasion.

Featuring an all-star performance lineup, the benefit raised money and awareness for the MusiCares MAP Fund, which provides members of the music community access to addiction recovery treatment. We often fall in love with music from musicians who bare their souls on record and onstage, and this event was full of artists who've not only battled their own addictions, but people who have exposed their emotional and physical weaknesses for the sake of their art. I felt humbled to have been in attendance.

After a DJ set by Justin Warfield and Adam Bravin of She Wants Revenge, comedian Greg Behrendt was the first to take the stage, warming up the theater with an array of self-deprecating jokes in anticipation of the first performers of the night, Ozomatli. Within their two-song set, Ozomatli honored both Lyman and Gahan, the former by thanking him for giving them their first big tour, and the latter for assisting them in losing their virginity. Their final song, on which they were joined by a brass band, wrapped into a cover of "Just Can't Get Enough," a song on Depeche Mode's 1981 debut album, Speak & Spell.

Behrendt returned for more laughs as the stage was set for Paramore. The four-piece band played an acoustic set while seated in chairs, highlighting lead singer Hayley Williams' vocals.

Next up was a series of video clips sent in by musicians ranging from Bad Religion and Joan Jett to NOFX and Katy Perry — with each artist discussing Lyman's impact on them. Perry's description of her inability to take showers on the Warped Tour in 2008, one of her first major tours, put into perspective just how important the tour has been in helping propel many careers to superstardom. Concert promoter Gary Tovar then presented Lyman with the MusiCares From The Heart Award. In his acceptance speech, Lyman thanked his family and mentioned how he followed his passion for music.

Bob Forrest from "Celebrity Rehab" tackled the tough subject of addiction and introduced Jane's Addiction, whose three-song set had the crowd dancing in their seats. "I've known both these guys a long time," said lead singer Perry Farrell of Gahan and Lyman between songs, "and I'm glad they're still alive."

Chester Bennington's solo acoustic song, "The Messenger," was one of the most heartfelt performances of the show. The Linkin Park lead vocalist introduced the song of perseverance as a letter he wrote to his kids, and a song that also works for those battling addiction. Bennington also admitted that playing an instrument while singing was a bit of a foreign concept to him.

Legendary Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler presented Gahan with the Stevie Ray Vaughan Award, sing-songing his line, "And you know you'll be alright." The crowd was in rapt anticipation as Gahan walked onstage. His acceptance speech included an anecdote about Tyler soberly interrupting his drinking at a bar one night.

Gahan's band, including keyboardist Vincent Jones and bassist Martyn LeNoble, joined him for a longer-than-expected set of pure magic, including a mix of his solo work, Depeche Mode songs and covers that seemed meaningful to him. I can assure you that "I Feel You" segueing into a cover of Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart" will remain one of my concert highlights forever, and that's coming from a girl who goes to 100 shows a year.

The grand finale featured a surprise appearance by bandmate Martin Gore, who took the stage to play guitar and sing background vocals on the Depeche Mode hit "Personal Jesus." As everyone in the crowd was on their feet, singing "reach out and touch faith" with their hands in the air, I was reminded of how unifying and healing music can be.

Set List

Ozomatli:
"Ya Viene El Sol"
"Como Ves"/"Just Can't Get Enough" (Depeche Mode cover)

Paramore:
"Misery Business"
"That's What You Get"

Jane's Addiction:
"Stop!"
"Three Days"
"Mountain Song"

Chester Bennington:
"The Messenger"

Dave Gahan:
"Cracked Actor" (David Bowie cover)
"Dirty Sticky Floors"
"I Feel You"
"Love Will Tear Us Apart" (Joy Division cover)
"Low" (Mark Lanegan cover)
"New Rose " (the Damned cover)
"Saw Something"
"Personal Jesus"

(Texas-based Jamie Harvey is the rock community blogger for GRAMMY.com. She attended 112 shows in 2010. You can follow her musical adventures and concert recaps at www.hardrockchick.com.)

 

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The Week In Music: New Year's Nuptials

Aretha Franklin, John Legend, Justin Timberlake, and Steven Tyler resolve to get married in 2012

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 05:06 am

Less than a week into the new year, 2012 is shaping up as a good one for some artists and, to paraphrase Tina Turner, love just may have something to do with it. Getting engaged seems to be all the rage as the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin announced her engagement to longtime friend William "Willie" Wilkerson. The couple is scheduled to marry this summer in Miami and Franklin has confirmed that "no, I am not pregnant." This just goes to show that with some r-e-s-p-e-c-t and a little prayer, anything can happen. In more nuptial news, Aerosmith's Steven Tyler has popped the question to his longtime girlfriend, Erin Brady, and R&B crooner John Legend has proposed to his girlfriend, Chrissy Teigen. For the previously divorced Tyler, this time is for real. "I don't want to hurt anybody again," Tyler told Oprah Winfrey on "Oprah's Next Chapter" on Jan. 1. "For all the divorces I've had, I hurt those girls deeply. It was some behavior that I'm ashamed of and I shouldn't have done." If it's true that the third time's a charm, Wynonna Judd is in luck as she has announced her third engagement, this time to boyfriend Scott "Cactus" Moser. And everyone's favorite boy band superstar-turned entertainment guru Justin Timberlake is engaged to wed longtime girlfriend Jessica Biel, according to a People report. "She is the single-handedly most significant person in my life," Timberlake told Vanity Fair last June. If all they need is love, do you think these artists will make it in marriage?

In not-so-sweet relationship news, the recent announcement of hot celebrity couple Katy Perry and Russell Brand's divorce caught the entertainment world by storm. After all, they were married for an entire 14 months. But while it seems that divorce would come with much heartache and pain, especially over the holiday season, Perry has been seen out on the town making her own fireworks of sorts. According to a New York Post report, the pop songstress was out on New Year's Eve dancing with friends at Soho House in West Hollywood, Calif., the day after Brand filed for divorce. "Katy was in a private room with a group and she seemed to be in a great mood," said one anonymous source. "She spent most of the night dancing and laughing with friends. One wouldn't have ever even known that her husband had just filed for divorce. … She looked like she was having a great time." And as for Brand, he's carrying on just fine as well. "I'm doing good," he told the Post. "Everything is going to be better next year." It seems all is fair in love and war.

With respect to Chinese astrology and dragons, 2012 is shaping up to be the year of Van Halen, at least for classic rock fans. A group of fortunate music journalists witnessed the band's official 2012 launch at the intimate Cafe Wha? in New York on Jan. 5. Eddie Van Halen, along with brother/drummer Alex, son/bassist Wolfgang and original vocalist David Lee Roth, fired up the engines for an hour-long set of classic Van Halen. "Welcome to Occupy Van Halen, ladies and gentleman," exclaimed Roth before launching the band into their version of the Kinks' "You Really Got Me." The band also debuted a new song, "She's A Woman," from A Different Kind Of Truth, Van Halen's first studio album with Roth since 1984, which is due for release Feb. 7. Van Halen is also taking the fun on the road for a U.S. tour, starting in Louisville, Ky., on Feb. 18. What different kind of rock shenanigans do Diamond Dave and Co. have in store? It's anybody's guess, but for now you can get a preview of Roth's new moves in the first installment of his different kind of video scrapbook.

John Lennon fans may be taking a word out of Cee Lo Green's book and saying "F* you" to the Lady Killer after he took creative license with the lyrics to Lennon's famous "Imagine" during a New Year's Eve performance in New York. Instead of singing "Nothing to kill or die for/And no religion too," as the song was originally written, Green sang "Nothing to kill or die for/And all religion's true." Fans quickly took to Twitter to ridicule Green, with one fan tweeting, "The whole point of that lyric is that religion causes harm. If 'all religion's true' it would be a pretty bleak place." According to a Rolling Stone report Green responded, tweeting, "Yo I meant no disrespect by changing the lyric guys! I was trying to say a world were [sic] u could believe what u wanted that's all." The response seems to have since been retracted. Maybe Green decided to live life in peace instead.

While it may not be ladylike to kiss and tell, it sure is mayorlike. During a New Year's Eve celebration in New York's Times Square, the Big Apple's Mayor Michael Bloomberg locked lips with Lady Gaga … and lived to tell about it. "She's obviously a great entertainer," Bloomberg told The Wall Street Journal of the Fame Monster, whom he also found to be "very charming." "There's very few people who've gone into a very tough business and … risen to the top as quickly as she has." Shortly after his smooch with Gaga, Bloomberg turned around and gave the second kiss of the night to longtime companion Diana Taylor. "I would be remiss if I didn't also add that the best kiss of the night came … from Diana," Bloomberg noted. This sounds like a case of bad romance gone good.

Indie rock fans are either older than we thought, or at least old at heart. Vinyl record sales increased again in 2011, marking a steady, though modest, growth in sales in the digital era. And the biggest fans of the old-school format? The indie rock contingent. Among the top-selling vinyl albums for the year were records by 54th GRAMMY nominees the Black Keys, Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, Mumford & Sons, and Wilco. Also in the top 10 were Adele and Radiohead. Still, the top of the vinyl pops was reserved for a true classic: the Beatles' Abbey Road, which checks into the top spot for an amazing third consecutive year. Such a feat some 40-plus years after its original release must be giving 2012 MusiCares Person of the Year Paul McCartney some golden slumbers at night.

LMFAO's "Sexy And I Know It" is No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Jason Mraz's "I Won't Give Up" is tops on the iTunes singles chart.

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