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
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.