In 1998 The Recording Academy established an office in the nation's capital, seeking to amplify the voice of music creators in national policy matters. Today, called the "supersized musicians lobby" by Congressional Quarterly, The Academy's Advocacy & Industry Relations office in Washington, D.C., is the leading representative of the collective world of recording professionals — artists, songwriters, producers, and engineers — through its GRAMMYs on the Hill Initiatives.
The Recording Academy's advocacy efforts in the fight for a terrestrial radio royalty for sound recordings led to the first-ever negotiations between the music and broadcasting industries, and paved the way for some broadcasters to begin to pay some royalties from terrestrial revenue, with the admission that the status quo is "clearly not enough." Meanwhile, the legislative initiative to have all broadcasters pay this royalty continues in Congress through the efforts of the musicFIRST Coalition, which was co-founded by The Academy.
On the industry relations front, The Academy launched "Give Fans The Credit," a campaign to include credits for all music creators on digital players.
To create significant grassroots support for music issues, each year Recording Academy members are invited to Washington, D.C., to participate in the GRAMMYs on the Hill Awards and Advocacy Day. The awards ceremony honors leading music and political figures who have shown a commitment to creators' rights, while the lobbying day consists of hundreds of music makers meeting with legislators to advance pro-music legislation. The 2012 GRAMMYs on the Hill events marked the awards' 11th year and the largest-ever presence in Washington, D.C., with approximately 400 people attending. The celebration honored Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) and GRAMMY-winning musician John Mayer for their commitment to improving the working environment for the nation's music community. Past recipients of the award include Vice President Joe Biden, Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and John McCain (R-Ariz.); Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Howard Coble (R-N.C.), Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), and Darrell Issa (R-Calif.); and GRAMMY-winning musicians, including Garth Brooks, Kelly Clarkson, Natalie Cole, Gloria Estefan, Don Henley, Quincy Jones, and Martina McBride.
Through advocacy, education and dialogue, The Recording Academy protects the rights of music makers and advances their interests on important policy matters.
- GRAMMYs on the Hill Advocacy Day gives music professionals the opportunity to meet with national leaders in Washington. The GRAMMYs on the Hill Awards, held the preceding evening, honors legislators and music creators
- Congressional testimony from Academy music creators who serve as expert witnesses before Capitol Hill Committees
- Capitol Tracks, a regular publication for members of Congress, cultural stakeholders and Academy members
- Social media platforms to inform music professionals about current issues and connect them directly to their elected representatives
- The GRAMMY Industry Roundtable, bringing together policy leaders and music professionals to discuss critical issues in an off-the-record setting
- "Give Fans The Credit," an industry-wide discussion on ways to include the credits of songwriters, musicians and studio professionals on digital players
- Music Leaders Retreat, co-hosted by Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow, giving the leaders of every major music association an opportunity to jointly address community issues in a productive working session