As a performance rights organization, ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) has long fought on behalf of their artists. Whether it’s for their rights or their royalties, artists can count on getting their fair share.
Now, the performance rights organization is paying tribute to the Black architects of the music industry.
In a press release, ASCAP announced that their Black History Month initiatives — which kicked off on Feb. 1 — can be found on a dedicated section of their website, which focuses on Black change-makers in music.
“ASCAP is passionate about recognizing the contributions of Black songwriters and composers who have created music that has made an impact on our culture and the world,” said Nicole George-Middleton, ASCAP Senior Vice President, Membership, in the press release provided to AfroTech. “During this month especially, it is our mission to shine the spotlight on ASCAP member pioneers, innovators, and icons who have changed history, shaped music as we know it, and given us the songs we love so much.”
This week, the performance rights organization focuses on “Black Music Pioneers.” One of their featured pioneers, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, perhaps single-handedly created the modern rock’n’roll genre. She was the first Black artist to bring Gospel music to the mainstream, and while she’s known for influencing the likes of Aretha Franklin, white America knows her best as being the single-biggest muse of Elvis Presley, who — depending on who you ask — is either the first-ever culture vulture or the King of Rock’n’Roll.
ASCAP also features the likes of Quincy Jones, Duke Ellington, and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five as Black Music Pioneers. Their website will feature new Black game-changers every week.
Check it out for yourself here.