WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met virtually with the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) and several Illinois-based songwriters to discuss the state of the music industry, the implementation of the Music Modernization Act, and efforts to ensure that songwriters and musical artists receive fair compensation for their work.

“It was a pleasure to meet today with songwriters and artists from Illinois—who shared their music with me—to hear their perspective on how we can protect their ability to make a living from their work,” said Durbin. “Music is meant to be shared and enjoyed, but we must also ensure that we are protecting the rights and livelihoods of music creators in Illinois and nationwide. I look forward to continuing to work with ASCAP and its members to make sure that our copyright laws reflect these goals.”

Durbin also enjoyed a short performance by the pianist Emily Bear, titled “My Love For You Will Stay.”

A photo of the virtual meeting is available here.

Attendees at the meeting included:

  • Emily Bear, a 19-year-old Rockford native who was a child prodigy pianist and is now an award-winning composer
  • Che “Rhymefest” Kweku, known for co-writing the Grammy-winning song “Glory.” He is the co-founder of the Chicago nonprofit Art Of Culture and co-chair of The Year Of Chicago Music, an initiative highlighting Chicago’s music scene.
  • Dennis DeYoung, a Chicago native and founding member of the rock band Styx
  • Evan Lamberg, North American President for Universal Music Publishing and ASCAP Board Member

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