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June 14, 2007
Dennis Wharton
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NAB Responds to musicFIRST Coalition

WASHINGTON, DC – - NAB issued the following statement today in response to the formation of a group known as the musicFIRST Coalition, an advocacy group comprised of recording artists seeking cash payments from local radio stations for the airplay of music broadcast over-the-air. The group's members include Christina Aguilera, Jimmy Buffett, Celine Dion, Toby Keith, John Legend and Jennifer Lopez, among others.

"NAB will aggressively fight RIAA's proposed performance tax on local radio stations," said NAB Executive Vice President Dennis Wharton. "Congress has long recognized that radio airplay of music generates millions of dollars in revenue for record labels and artists. Were it not for radio's free promotional airplay of music on stations all over America, most successful recording artists would still be playing in a garage."

Additionally, NAB referenced a radio commercial that aired widely in 2005 as part of an NAB campaign promoting radio. In it, John Legend, then an up-and-coming new artist, praised and thanked a radio station in Chicago for giving him his big break. Following is a transcript of the commercial. To download the audio file in WinZip format, click here.


VOICEOVER: Radio has always supported up and coming artists and connected you with new music. That's why we are giving new R&B artist John Legend the next forty seconds to do whatever he wants.

JOHN LEGEND: Hey, this is John Legend. You know there is a music director of a radio station in Chicago. Her name is Tiffany. I need to call her and thank her.


JL: Hello, Tiffany

T: Yes.

JL: This is John Legend. How you doin?

T: What's up! Hey John!

JL: I had to call and thank you. Everywhere I go now, I'm hearin' Ordinary People, every city I go to. You were playin' it and believed in it. I just wanted to thank you for that.

T: Awww, ya. Ordinary People is, like, the number one request for like the last four weeks. I mean even the thugs are callin' in for it. They are like, "Yo uh, can we get that Ordinary People?"

JL: You know I'm just glad y'all did what y'all did because it just shows the power of giving the people what they want to hear. And I'll see you next time I get over there.

T: Alright, thanks man!

JL: Alright, bye.

T: Bye.

BACKGROUND MUSIC: Ordinary People.

About NAB
The National Association of Broadcasters is a trade association that advocates on behalf of more than 8,300 free, local radio and television stations and also broadcast networks before Congress, the Federal Communications Commission and the Courts. Information about NAB can be found at


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