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  • Post published:02/04/2021
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Songwriters sign open letter calling on artists to stop taking credit for hits they didn’t write

A “growing number” of artists are asking for royalties from songs they didn’t write

By Nick Reilly

Justin Tranter (Picture: Getty)

Some of pop’s biggest songwriters have joined forces to ask artists to stop taking credit for the songs they did not write.

A new open letter signed by the writers behind such hits as Dua Lipa‘s ‘New Rules’ and Ariana Grande‘s ‘7 Rings’ claims that a “growing number” of artists have asked for a share of publishing royalties – even if they didn’t write the song.

The letter explains that “artists will go on to collect revenue from touring, merchandise [and] brand partnerships” but “songwriters have only their publishing revenue as a means of income”.

While no artists were specifically named in the letter, the signees added that composers often faced “bully tactics and threats” from those who wish to take a cut of the songwriting royalties.

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“Over time, this practice of artists taking publishing has become normalised; and until now, there has been no real unity within the songwriting community to fight back,” they wrote.

“That is why we have decided to join together, in support of each other, and make a change.”

Signatories include the likes of Joel Little, Victoria Monét, Emily Warren, Ross Golan, Amy Allen and Savan Kotecha.

The letter comes after MPs were told recently that musicians are “driving Ubers” in a bid to make ends meet.

Fiona Bevan, a songwriter for One Direction, Lewis Capaldi and more, told a DCMS committee she earned just £100 from streaming for a song she co-wrote on Kylie Minogue‘s new album ‘Disco’, adding: “The most successful songwriters in the world can’t pay their rent. Right now, hit songwriters are driving Ubers. It’s quite shameful.”

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