WARMINGTON: Bryan Adams fires back at Trudeau minister as music fight heats up

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If you want to go to battle with Bryan Adams, there is something the superstar is making loud and clear.

‘You want it, you got it!’

The rock legend has fired back with an encore in his self-declared “fight” on behalf of Canadian artists with the Trudeau government over “laughable” streaming laws which he believes discriminates against any of them who want to work with international collaborators.

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“Just like the antiquated copyright laws in Canada, who does all this bureaucracy actually serve?” Adams said Saturday. “Under Canadian law, Canadian creators don’t get their copyrights back until 70 years after they die! How does that help families of Canadian creators and writers? It doesn’t.”

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In preparation for his So Happy It Hurts tour that will take him to Ireland starting June 11 and includes dates in the United Kingdom, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Quebec, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Turkey, Italy and ending in Portugal Nov. 24, the star has responded to Heritage Minister Pascal St. Onge’s offer that he could help shape the proposed new guidelines.

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But if she really wants his help, Adams has drawn a line in the sand by putting some truths on the table.

“Thank you, minister, I’d be happy to discuss with you anytime,” he said in an X post reply that his management also sent to the Toronto Sun upon request. “Meanwhile, here is an interesting fact; of the top 10 most streamed songs ever on Spotify, four of them are by Canadians. But under CanCon/CRTC/MAPL rules, none of them qualify as Canadian. It’s laughable.”

This is no laughing matter. It needs more than patronizing words. It needs immediate addressing. And the legendary rocker could have not stirred the waters and let it go.

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Instead, he’s turned up his amplifier and taken his angst public. With such hit songs as Run To You, Summer Of 69 and Cuts Like A Knife, has even called Prime Minister Justin Trudeau out by name in a video watched 67,000 times on this matter that he posted to his 641,000 follower strong X account.

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As Adams, 64, highlight’s the number one streamed Spotify song is Blinding Lights from Toronto’s own The Weeknd which is now at more than 4.2 billion steams. The Weeknd with Daft Punk song Starboy also holds down the number five spot at 3.2 billion.

The Weeknd is the most streamed artist on Spotify in the world.
The Weeknd is the most streamed artist on Spotify in the world. Photo by Rich Fury /Getty Images for dcp

Drake with Wizkid and Kyla come in at number seven with One Dance with 3.17 billion streams while Stay by Justin Bieber with The Kid Laroi is at number eight with almost 3.2 billion with. Coming in at 18 is the GTA’s own Shawn Mendes and Camilla Cabello with Señorita at 2.7 billion streams.

Justin Bieber, at Coachella 2022, has the seventh most streamed song on Spotify – Getty
Justin Bieber, at Coachella 2022, has the seventh most streamed song on Spotify – Getty Bang Showbiz

Adams’ point is The Weeknd (Abel Makkonen Tesfaye), Drake (Aubrey Graham), Bieber and Mendes, no matter who they write or sing with, are as Canadian as Canadian can be and should be considered that.

This May 1, 2019 file photo shows Drake at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas.
Drake at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas. The Canadian has a song in the top 10 Spotify streaming chart Photo by Richard Shotwell /Invision/AP

They are all also from Ontario. And there are many other great artists from here like July Talk, The Glorious Sons to the Arkells, who need a fair playing field to compete on.

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Shawn Mendes is awarded the International Achievement Award during the Juno awards has the 18th most ever streamed song — NATHAN DENETTE/THE CANADIAN PRESS
Shawn Mendes is awarded the International Achievement Award during the Juno awards has the 18th most ever streamed song — NATHAN DENETTE/THE CANADIAN PRESS

St. Onge had responded on X to Adam’s original missive that called for true music “multiculturalism” by stopping Canadian musicians from being “punished” because of “collaborations” with “global” artists.

Singers Leah Fay and Peter Dreimanis of the band July Talk are the kinds of Canadian artists Bryan Adams is trying to help.
Singers Leah Fay and Peter Dreimanis of the band July Talk are the kinds of Canadian artists Bryan Adams is trying to help. Photo by WAYNE CUDDINGTON /POSTMEDIA NETWORK

Minister of Canadian Heritage Pascale St-Onge told Adams on X that she’s a “big fan” and “don’t worry” because “this modernized system being implemented by the CRTC won’t prioritize certain Canadian artists or songs” but “it just helps create more music in Canada.”

The Glorious Sons during a recent show on their latest tour dubbed The Unfinished Business Tour.
Like Bryan Adams, The Glorious Sons on The Unfinished Business Tour are the kind of artists who need to play around the world to make ends meet. Photo by Matt Sobhy /Prevail Media Group

Please forgive Adams is he seems skeptical.

“We submitted a petition to your government four years ago from every major songwriter and book writer in this country asking for the law to be changed so that we had the same deal as our American brothers and sisters, and we never heard back,” said Adams. “Canadian artists’ voices are loud globally, but not on Parliament Hill.”

Don’t look now but Bryan Adams is waking up the politicians – and doing everything he can do to help his fellow Canadian artists.

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