"What is hearing your favorite song worth hearing to you?"
Recording Academy president Neil Portnow (No. 55 on this year's Power 100, announced Feb. 12) and Common used the Academy's yearly time slot on the Grammys stage to hold the royalties paid out by streaming services over the coals.
"When you stream a song, all the people that created that music receive a fraction of a penny," said Portnow after a performance from 12-year-old pianist Joey Alexander. "Isn't a song worth more than a penny?"
The speech was more-than-similar to the speech Portnow delivered at last year's awards. "What if we're all watching the Grammys a few years from now and there's no Best New Artist award because there aren't enough talented artists and songwriters who are actually able to make a living from their craft?" he asked a year ago.