The board of the group, named the Music Artists Coalition, also includes managers Irving Azoff and Coran Capshaw, lawyer Jordan Bromley and publicist Kristen Foster. The Music Artists Coalition will advocate on artists' behalf in the growing number of music-related disputes in Washington.
Musicians depend on federal courts and Congress to determine much of their pay. Federal consent decrees govern how much bars, radio stations and restaurants must shell out for songs. And copyright judges determine the rates big streaming services must pay songwriters for a separate license. Legislation also shields technology companies from liability for the proliferation of pirated music.
The music industry has no shortage of lobbyists in the U.S. capital, but none of the largest groups are focused on artists. The Recording Industry Association of America represents record labels, the National Music Publishers' Association stands up for music publishers and the National Association of Broadcasters reps radio stations.
"Artists don't really have a seat at any table," Azoff said in an interview. "Just the fact that we have a powerful group of people will scare everyone else to the table."