ARETHA FRANKLIN & OTIS REDDING:

Aretha Franklin did not write her biggest hit ‘Respect.’ The song was written by soul legend Otis Redding.   Franklin realized that Redding earned quadruple her earnings-from writing the song.  This motivated her to write her own songs, including, “Daydreaming,” and “Rock Steady.”

That power move continues to earn Franklin royalties.  She doesn’t have to tour frequently like other black female singers, to make a decent living.

According to Roger Friedman (Fox News), this is why, Janet Jackson and Celine Dion and other non-writing singers of the last generation, fought so hard to get huge advances from record companies from their albums because they knew it would be the only money they’d see from the CD’s.

Mariah Carey is considerably wealthy from songwriting, that’s why she doesn’t have to tour continuously.   Whitney Houston should be feeling the pinch because she never wrote any of her songs, nor did her cousin, Dionne Warwick, that’s why Warwick tours constantly.

In the film “The Five Heartbeats,’ the character portrayed by Robert Townsend was the only group member living large, in a beach house, because he wrote the group’s material.  The other members had regular jobs and lived modestly.

Successful publishing catalogues (including standards) are very lucrative. Dianne Warren, who wrote “Unbreak My Heart,” for Toni Braxton, “If You Asked Me To,” for Patti Labelle and “Have You Ever,” for Brandy has a song catalogue that generates $20 million annually.

Let this be a lesson to upcoming artists, take a songwriting and production workshop, this is how artists make real money.  You don’t make money off album sales; the money is in touring and songwriting/publishing.  Remember, you can be famous but broke.

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