Bette Midler and Debbie Harry Urge Congress to Pass Royalties Law


Musicians including Bette Midler and Debbie Harry are urging members of the U.S. Congress to pass a law requiring bosses at digital radio services to pay royalties for music from the 1970s.

The CLASSICS Act would require royalties to be paid on sound recordings from before 1972, according to, and over 40 artists, including Midler, Harry, Jason Isbell, Emmylou Harris, and Henry Rollins, have signed a letter calling for congressional members to approve the bill.

“Digital radio makes billions of dollars a year from airplay of music made before 1972,” the notice reads. “Yet, because of an ambiguity in state and federal copyright laws, artists and copyright owners who created that music receive nothing for the use of their work.”

“The ‘CLASSICS Act’ would correct this inequity and finally ensure that musicians and vocalists who made those timeless songs finally get their due,” it continues. “We urge Congress to pass the CLASSICS Act and other pro-artist reforms quickly.”