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Universal Music Donates $2 Million for Early Acts

November 08, 2001|Jeff Leeds

Universal Music Group is donating $2 million to the nonprofit Rhythm & Blues Foundation to provide grants for destitute or aging music pioneers affiliated with Universal labels. The grants will be determined by a committee created by the foundation.

The donation is the latest move by a major record company to aid disenfranchised acts from the '50s and '60s. Many of rock's early performers signed meager royalty deals. Artists from Howlin' Wolf to the Drifters have been forced to fight for past-due money.

Since the late '80s, amid pressure from artist advocates and federal lawmakers, only a handful of record companies have sought to restructure those acts' compensation.

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