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RnB 09/10/2002

RnB Artists To Rock For Artists' Rights

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NEW YORK ( Website) - Stevie Wonder, DMX, Roberta Flack, Faith Evans, Hezekiah Walker, and Najee will perform at an Oct. 28 benefit concert in New York sponsored by the Artist Empowerment Coalition (AEC). The event will be the first in a series of concerts the AEC is planning to raise awareness about recording artists' rights.

Montell Jordan, Naughty By Nature, and Scarface are also set to appear at the Beacon Theatre, with rapper Doug E. Fresh and BET TV personality Free serving as hosts. The show will raise money for the AEC's artist-empowerment agenda, which includes educating the public about music-industry issues such as recording contract limitations, pensions and health benefits for artists, and ownership of masters and publishing.

Both Jordan and AEC general counsel L. Londell McMillan testified in late July at California Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on record label accounting practices. Artist representatives claimed that as a result of underpayments, it has become the "industry standard" for artists to audit record companies to ascertain how much they are owed -- a legal luxury only top-sellers can afford to pursue because of the expense, leaving many mid-level acts without any means of being properly compensated.

"The Artist Empowerment Coalition represents a long overdue opportunity for artists, whose cries for information and fairness have been ignored," Flack said in a statement.

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