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Kanye West to Join Trump for White House Signing of Music Modernization Act

The bill reforms music licensing and royalty payments long sought after by the industry and artists.

WASHINGTON — Kanye West will join President Trump at the White House on Thursday for a signing ceremony of the Music Modernization Act, a sweeping bill to reform music licensing and royalty payments long sought after by the industry and artists.

Neil Portnow, the president and CEO of the Recording Academy, will attend the event, as well as Mitch Glazier, the president of the Recording Industry Association of America. Also expected: Kid Rock, who supported Trump in the 2016 election.

The legislation includes a number of components, including a guarantee that songwriters and artists receive payments for pre-1972 recordings, as well as for improved payments for works played on streaming services.

The Senate passed the Music Modernization Act on Sept. 18 by unanimous consent. The bill then returned to the House for approval of the Senate version, after which it now heads to President Trump to be signed into law.

There was no small amount of urgency for the music industry in moving the bill forward, with midterm elections just weeks away. Many MMA stakeholders are en route to Washington D.C. for the signing ceremony and are expected to gather at a celebration event tonight (Oct. 10).

The bill which will be signed into law combines three separate pieces of legislation:

– The Music Modernization Act of 2018, S.2334, introduced by Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) in January, which updates licensing and royalties as pertains to streaming.

– The CLASSICS Act (or Compensating Legacy Artists for their Songs, Service, & Important Contributions to Society Act), introduced in February by Chris Coons (D-DE) and John Kennedy (R-LA) to ensure that songwriters and artists receive royalties on pre-1972 songs.

– The AMP Act (or Allocation for Music Producers Act), introduced in March by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-LA) and ranking committee member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA.) with the support of and Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and Kamala Harris (D-CA).

Trump will have lunch with West at the White House, along with White House senior adviser Jared Kushner. “Topics of discussions will include manufacturing resurgence in America, prison reform, how to prevent gang violence, and what can be done to reduce violence in Chicago,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters earlier this week.

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