ON DECK: Georgia Music Day of Action This Wednesday, February 28.

Georgia’s music industry is rallying behind legislation to create a statewide Georgia Music Office to retain and attract talent and opportunities related to the music industry. Led by the leadership of Georgia Music Partners (GMP), statewide organizations, performers, and music business professionals are coming together on Wednesday, Feb. 28, for Georgia Music Day of Action. This virtual advocacy day is to lobby for support to establish the state’s first Georgia Music Office as part of The Georgia Statewide Music Office Act. The public is being asked to spread the word on social media as well as write and call their state legislators before Thursday to ask for support in getting this vital legislation passed and funded so Georgia can also become the #1 state for music business. To submit a letter, members of the public can go to

Two identical bills have been introduced with bi-partisan support. One is in the House of Representatives (HB 549) by Representative Tyler Paul Smith (R-Bremen), and the other is in the Senate (SB 396) by Senator Sonya Halpern (D-Atlanta). Both bills are awaiting a hearing in the Rules Committee, and either or both would need to pass the House or Senate floor by Thursday, Feb. 29 at midnight to remain viable.

“We want to remind lawmakers that entertainment in Georgia is a multi-billion dollar industry — and more than 70,000 Georgians earn their living working in the music industry alone, including musicians, songwriters, performers, administrators, investors, executives, business owners, and educators,” said GMP President Mala Sharma. “A centralized office would not only promote work being done throughout the state, it would bring together Georgia’s music industry under one umbrella while creating more access to the pipeline of music business opportunities coming to the state.”

“This bill represents a crucial step towards nurturing our local talent and ensuring that Georgia remains at the forefront of the music industry,” said Senator Halpern. “By fostering an environment that supports our musicians, songwriters, and industry professionals, we are not just investing in the art, we are investing in our state’s economic vitality and cultural legacy.”

The bills have already garnered the support of more than 200 organizations, such as The Recording Academy Atlanta Chapter, Georgians for the Arts, statewide convention and visitors bureaus, the Georgia Chamber, the Fox Theatre, and more, as well as national organizations, including The Recording Academy, Recording Industry Association of America, National Association of Music Merchants, and Red Light Artists Management.

“The creation of the Georgia Music Office would be a major step in furthering our industry and creating a direct benefit to Georgia’s musicians, songwriters, venues, recording professionals and educators,” said Fox Theatre CEO Allan Vella. “We have learned from the film industry the benefits of taking a bold leap forward. Now it’s time for us to do the same in the music industry for the benefit of Georgia’s workers and our state’s economy.”

“Being a musician rooted in Georgia, I’ve witnessed firsthand the power of our state’s musical heritage. It’s not just about the melodies we create; it’s about the livelihoods we sustain and the dreams we inspire,” said musician Chuck Leavell. “Yet, without investment in our future, we risk losing more than just revenue — we risk losing the soul of our sound and the heart of our community. Let’s harmonize our efforts to ensure that Georgia’s musical legacy echoes for generations to come.”

Singer, actress, and producer Kat Graham added: “A dedicated music office is not just necessary, it’s essential for nurturing our artists, preserving our heritage, and propelling our industry forward into a brighter, more harmonious future.”


Usher’s performance during this year’s Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched television show ever, with 123+ million viewers. While Georgia’s music industry radiated globally, its $5 billion economic impact remains stagnant. Georgia investing in the state’s music economy by establishing a dedicated statewide music office can shift that impact.

Georgia’s music history is unrivaled — from the Mother of Blues, Ma Rainey, in Columbus; to the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, from Augusta; to Macon, where Soul lives, and Southern Rock was born with Otis Redding, Little Richard, and The Allman Brothers Band; to Athens as an indie music capital giving birth to the likes of R.E.M., The B-52s, and Widespread Panic; to Atlanta as the epicenter of Hip Hop with Usher, Outkast, Ludacris, TLC, CeeLo Green; as well as country artists from Sugarland and Luke Bryan, to Trisha Yearwood, Lady A, Zac Brown Band and Alan Jackson; rock musicians including Mastodon, Blackberry Smoke, and Third Day; as well as the acclaimed Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.

This year, more than 36 Georgians were nominated for GRAMMY Awards in categories from Hip Hop and Cajun to Christian Contemporary and Children’s. Over 20 of the nominees were recipients of a GRAMMY Award.


The entertainment industry in Georgia (film, television, music and video gaming) generates billions of dollars for the state of Georgia on an annual basis. Cities and counties are investing in the business of music and even their music venues and infrastructure and, over the past few years, have been recognizing the cultural and economic value added to the city and state. Augusta, Macon, and Athens are currently expanding/renovating/building arenas and amphitheaters to revitalize and attract live performances, and Fulton County is in the top 6 across the nation for most recording studios, with more than 130.

According to an International Federation of Phonographic Industry Report, “A vibrant music economy drives value for cities in several important ways: job creation, economic growth, tourism development, brand building. A strong music community has also been proven to attract other industrial investment, along with talented workers who put a high value on quality of life, no matter their profession. The industry is leading the charge for the Georgia Statewide Music Office Act to not only honor the state’s musical legacy but also leverage it for future generations, whether homegrown or coming to the state.

“There are 48 post-secondary programs in this state training the next generation of the music industry,” added Sharma. “We’ve invested in this talent and want to ensure the necessary infrastructure and ecosystem is created and sustained to keep this talent and their future financial impact in Georgia.”