Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy pledges royalties to Black Lives Matter, encourages others to follow

Tweedy will donate five per cent of his writer's share from now on

Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy has released a statement pledging five per cent of his songwriting revenue to organisations working towards racial justice, urging others to follow.

Tweedy put forward the plan to address historical and ongoing injustices against black artists on Facebook.

“The modern music industry is built almost entirely on Black art. The wealth that rightfully belonged to Black artists was stolen outright and to this day continues to grow outside their communities,” he wrote.

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“No one artist could come close to paying the debt we owe to the Black originators of our modern music and their children and grandchildren. As an individual I have recognized the unfairness of the life I live in relation to the deprivation of people whose work mine is but a shadow of. I’ve tried to compensate for those inequities in both my public and private life. It hasn’t been enough.”

Tweedy continued, explaining that he had thought of an industry-wide plan to help rectify this for years, but hesitated being the “one to initiate it…for reasons I find unpersuasive now”.

“What I propose going forward is a program that allows songwriters and musicians to direct a percentage of their “writer’s share” revenue to organizations that assist and support Black communities. This could take the shape of a box to check on rights management contracts, putting it at the foundation of our business. Or it could take another shape entirely,” he said.

The five per cent of Tweedy’s writer’s share will go to Movement for Black Lives and Black Women’s Blueprint, amongst unspecified others. The singer-songwriter also addressed organisations that disburse songwriter royalties directly, pleading with them to help him implement such a plan.

Read Tweedy’s full statement below:

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The modern music industry is built almost entirely on Black art. The wealth that rightfully belonged to Black artists…

Posted by Wilco on Thursday, June 18, 2020

Wilco released their last full length album, ‘Ode To Joy’, in 2019. NME rated the album four stars, calling it “the culmination of a musical evolution Wilco have been working towards for years”.

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