NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Backup musicians are demanding more equitable pay.

They are the artists you’ve watched on platforms like YouTube and Netflix, most likely playing backup for the big stars.

Working class musicians have made a living off of this type of work for years, but as more big media companies turn to streaming as a way of distributing content, artists said they aren’t being compensated fairly.

“The industry is moving to [streaming platforms]. As it does so, that equates to cuts for working musicians,” said Danny Rader, who has played for Keith Urban for 10 years.

The American Federation of Musicians has started a #BandTogether movement to demand fairer contracts with big media companies. They say they are being paid 75% less for the work they’ve always done.

“Imagine listening to any major film without any underscore, or imagine any of your favorite artists that perform on Jimmy Fallon with no band,” said Rader.

Artists at a press conference at the Music City Hall of Fame on Tuesday said the response from media companies has been that backup singers are not “talent.”

A group with AFM will travel to Los Angeles next week to begin contract negotiations. is now with you on the go! Get the latest news updates and video, 4WARN weather forecast, weather radar, special investigative reports, sports headlines and much more from News4 Nashville.

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Rebecca Cardenas is a Murrow-award winning journalist who joined News4 as a reporter in September 2017. She currently covers the court systems in Middle Tennessee.

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