Dionne Warwick Knows Way to D.C.

Photograph by Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

Dionne Warwick

“I’ve met with the entire Hill,” the legendary pop singer said last night at the Motion Picture Association of America, where a new biopic “Being: Dionne Warwick” was screened.

In addition to being a music legend in her own right and aunt of the late Whitney Houston, Warwick is also a committed crusader for artists’ rights.

“Recording artists, musicians and backup singers deserve to be paid for their work,” she said, speaking of the battles among record companies, radio stations and steaming services such as Pandora and Spotify.

She’s learned that passing a bill isn’t as easy as recording a new album.

“We’re still trying to get the bill passed through Congress,” she said, sighing. “I say that with some trepidation.”

But her appearances around town this week will make her lobbying efforts a little easier. And who wouldn’t want to talk to Dionne Warwick?

Last night she stood in a corner, sipping a soda, without an entourage, a far cry from the image of a spoiled diva.

Among the members who turned out at the screening: Democratic Reps. Judy Chu of California, Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas, Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, Gregory Meeks of New York and John Conyers of Michigan. FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn also was in attendance.

Warwick says she’s just as open to Republicans, although “I’m a Democrat, always been that way.” This, she notes, “is a bipartisan situation.”

Tonight she’ll join House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi at The Hamilton, where the two lawmakers will receive the Grammys on the Hill Award for their support of the recording industry. Pop band Hansen and country music’s Lady Antebellum will round out the star power.

Since she’s gotten the hang of the legislative process, would she ever consider running for office?

“Oh, please, “she said, with a laugh.” It’s the last thing I would ever think about doing: getting into politics. It’s not my game.”

Which of her songs is she suggesting to members for their  playlists?

“All of them.”

Maybe “A House is Not a Home” would resonate with some lawmakers.


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