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Last.fm Launches Royalty Program for Unsigned Artists

July 9, 2008 3:37 PM ET

Last.fm launched today a "groundbreaking" Artist Royalty Program, allowing unsigned musicians to collect royalties when their music is loaded into Last.fm's library and then streamed. Since the announcing the new Royalty Program in January, more than 450,000 tracks by unsigned or independent artists have been uploaded to the site. The artists will receive royalties if their tracks are either randomly streamed or played free-on-demand. "The young musician making music in a bedroom studio has the same chance as the latest major label signing to use Last.fm to build an audience and get rewarded. The Artist Royalty Program is another revolutionary step towards helping musicians take control of their music — and, more importantly, make a living from it," said Last.fm co-founder Martin Stiksel. To sign up and start uploading your music, click here.

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Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

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