How The AFM & SAG-AFTRA Fund Helps Non-Featured Artists Get Paid

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Los Angeles, CA – There’s a whole team of people behind every illustrious artist making sure they sound their best — from background singers to session musicians. But what happens when the featured artist collects their royalties?

With the AFM & SAG-AFTRA Fund, non-featured artists have been getting paid their well-deserved royalties since 1998. As described in a press release, the AFM & SAG-AFTRA Fund “collects and distributes royalties for non-featured artists for their performance on songs played on satellite radio, webcasting, non-interactive streaming services and other digital formats.”

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The Fund was established with the passage of the Digital Performance Royalty Act (DPRA) and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Now, with the passage of the Music Modernization Act — which was signed into law on October 11 — pre-1972 songs will be included, which translates to even more artists receiving royalties for their musical contributions.

The Fund distributed more than $60 million in royalties in 2019 and over $300 million to date on thousands of titles. It pays a considerable amount to non-featured artists on a slew of Hip Hop, Pop and R&B titles.

If you have performed on a song as a background vocalist or session musician, please visit “Unclaimed Royalties” on The Fund’s website to see if you’re owed. You can look up a song by artist or song title. You can also contact their Participant Services Department if you feel that you have not been credited on a song you have performed on.

Source: Hip Hop DX