President Trump, Flanked by Kid Rock, Signs Music Modernization Act

Artists are “not going to be treated unfairly anymore,” says president

President Donald Trump, surrounded by a small collection of supporters from the music industry, including Kid Rock and Beach Boys original member Mike Love, signed legislation on Wednesday revamping how artists are paid in the streaming era.

The Music Modernization Act, which was dormant for years before being ushered through Congress with bipartisan support this summer, promises to help songwriters on several fronts, including better licensing and royalty payments for artists and producers from streaming services. The legislation will also ensure that artists receive royalties on songs created before 1972.

“The Music Modernization Act closes loopholes in our digital royalties laws to ensure that songwriters, artists and producers receive fair payment for licensing of music,” Trump said on Wednesday. “I’ve been reading about this for many years and never thought I’d be involved in it, but I got involved in it. They were treated very unfairly. They’re not going to be treated unfairly anymore.”

“Everybody knows this business of music is a pretty dirty business,” Kid Rock said while taking the microphone. “But this is a great start to protect songwriters, producers, engineers — the unsung heroes behind many of these songs that go out there.”

In addition to Rock and Love, Doobie Brothers guitarist Jeff “Skunk” Baxter, and country singers Craig Morgan and John Rich were also in attendance. Kanye West, who was expected to be on hand, wasn’t there for the announcement but was scheduled to have lunch with the president.

Love praised Trump as a “big supporter” of musicians at the press conference and shared Trump tried to assist Whitney Houston, who battled substance abuse issues before her 2012 death.

“I remember you tried your best to help get Whitney Houston in some kind of shape,” Love said. “[Trump] tried your best to help Whitney. And she’s not the only one.”