Dionne Warwick remains as much of a musical diva as ever, and she's earning the title. At 78, the singer with one of the most exquisite and most singular tones, in all of music, is still performing a string of dates and personifying grace, as noted in last week's St. Louis Dispatch. Brooklyn, New York City, and Milwaukee are awaiting shows on the artist’s calendar, but this morning, Dionne Warwick took time out to discuss legislative business that is very important to her and close friends like Smokey Robinson on “CBS This Morning” on August 26.

Many have wished that former Senator Jeff Flake would be more stiffed-spined and involved in ousting the Trump administration, such as running against the incumbent. Again this morning, the legislator reaffirmed that he has no intention to seek higher office in the current election cycle. Instead, Flake enjoyed playing part-time correspondent and completely devoted fan of Dionne Warwick as the two talked about the long-awaited passage of the Music Modernization Act.

Fan-guy advocates for fairness

Jeff Flake gushed to Dionne Warwick that her catalog of songs was “the soundtrack to all my school dances.” No song was more magical than her indelible ballad of lasting love, “I'll Never Love This Way Again.” The singer has sung the Grammy-winning song across the globe, and thanks to its 1979 release date, it likely garners appropriate compensation for her efforts. Most of Dionne Warwick's massive hits, however, topped the charts in the 60s and 70s, and the chronology alone created an unfortunate loophole.

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Copyright law was written long before music streaming was ever conceived. Like many other fields caught in the gap between rules “on the books” and bringing digital technology to the masses, there was nothing to prohibit songs before 1972 from being streamed without a penny going to the artists who performed them. Hal David and Burt Bacharach long ago conceded that their acclaim and careers would never have been possible without Dionne Warwick on “Do You Know the Way to San Jose?,” “Walk on By,” and “Say a Little Prayer.” The songwriters have been blessed by their creative efforts through the collaboration for decades, with Bacharach now being 91.

The musical side of the partnership has no qualms in seeing that Warwick gets her due (in dollars) for singing that made all the difference.

Last October, Dionne Warwick blew kisses to lawmakers who unanimously passed the Music Modernization Act, even in this dysfunctional era of distorted partisan allegiance over principle. In his testimony, Smokey Robinson expressed that “a livelihood” should not be held hostage because of a chronological date as “an arbiter of value.” Many of the founders of the “Motown Sound,” like Robinson, will hopefully see a financial boost through their remaining years, so that they won't have to rely solely on performing.

Streamers and song-makers unite

In a rare appreciation of the symbiosis between those who write and perform music and those who disperse it to the masses, David Israelite and Garrett Levin agree that “we both need each other.” Israelite is President and CEO of National Music Publishers and Levin represents a majority of streaming services as CEO of the Digital Media Association.

Under a morass of copyright lawsuits, digital music media was finding the process of finding which people were owed money impossible, much less negotiating fair compensation.

It was a 10-year process to come to terms, but the fact that the industry, the artists, and the fact that all parties were able to come to an agreement on their own was a benchmark.

Once “we realize that we are all human beings, and God put us here to be of service to one another,” as Warwick reminds, consensus comes easily over being stuck in a “lose-lose” battle.

Gayle King and her co-anchors came to the agreement that every session of Congress might benefit from listening to a playlist by Dionne Warwick before beating the gavel. Not everyone thinks the new law will stand up to scrutiny from the courts, Eminem being among the detractors.

Nonetheless, this is an example of doing good for the right reasons for many who have added value and joy to millions of lives, and no national emergency was needed.

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