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David Byrne covers Biz Markie for artists and musicians

Biz Markie is most well-known for his one hit wonder, “Just a Friend”. David Byrne, best known as former frontman for the Talking Heads performed a cover of the classic rap song at a show sponsored by the Content Creators Coalition to bring attention to the policy in the United States that keeps artists from being paid for airplay over the radio.

David Byrne at Artists' Pay for Radio Play

The CCC is trying to get the word out on the issue. According to Rolling Stone, in their petition to Congress to change royalty laws, the United States is the one of six countries to not pay artists and musicians when you hear a song over terrestrial radio. Iran, North Korea, China, Vietnam, and Rwanda are the only other countries that do this.

In a newsletter before the show, David Byrne wrote:

"Mr. Markie didn't write that tune (although he did probably write the rap). The drum and keyboard loop was lifted from a Freddie Scott recording, but the song was written by Gamble and Huff, the great songwriting team that wrote for the O'Jays and the Spinners. So chances are Biz Markie didn't see any royalties from all the radio play that song got."

R.E.M's Mike Mills, Cake's John McCrea, and guitar master Marc Ribot, were also part of the event, but nothing beats David Byrne in overalls delivering the line, “Oh, Snap!”

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