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Sunday, 2 February, 2003, 14:50 GMT
Music stars urged to claim royalties
John Lydon
John Lydon is among stars who could be in for a windfall
Thousands of music artists are being urged to apply for their share of millions of pounds in unclaimed royalties.

High-profile stars such as David Essex, former Sex Pistols singer John Lydon and Neil Morrissey - voice of Bob The Builder - have been encouraged to come forward.

A website has been set up by the royalties body Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) to "remind" about 5,000 musicians of their dues.

PPL says many artists are eligible for anything from 25 to 500 - with a few able to claim thousands of pounds.

Luciano Pavarotti
Pavarotti is listed on the site of unclaimed royalties
Spokeswoman Jill Drew said: "With many of them it's not that we don't know how to get hold of them, it's simply that they haven't yet filled out the paperwork and this will be a gentle reminder."

Among those listed on the site - www.royaltiesreunited.co.uk - are international stars such as opera singer Luciano Pavarotti and Four Seasons singer Frankie Valli.

Others in line for windfalls are former Smiths vocalist Morrissey, singer-songwriter Joe Jackson and Pete Burns of 1980s group Dead Or Alive.

Also able to claim are former Teardrop Explodes singer Julian Cope, one-hit wonder Mr Oizo and Cocteau Twins singer Liz Fraser.

Pete Burns
Pete Burns' former group had hits during the 1980s
Among the more obscure artists eligible are Pui Fan Lee - Po from the Teletubbies who had a number one hit - and Giorgio Kilkenny, the Dexy's Midnight Runners bassist who played on the hit Come On Eileen.

PPL has teamed up with organisations such as performers unions to create the website.

It began a search for a number of musicians a year ago and has since distributed more than 1 million.

Session musician Duncan Mackay was among those who benefited after performing on tracks by the likes of Primal Scream, Richard Ashcroft and Embrace.

He said: "I was aware that you could get paid if the records that you'd played on received airplay but I didn't ever think that I would get anything out of it - I presumed it would be pennies rather than pounds.

"You have to follow things through - it's great that musicians are being chased to be given this money that they're owed."

Blur drummer Dave Rowntree, who is helping to spearhead the campaign, said: "There are millions of pounds owed to performers who haven't collected it simply because they haven't registered with a collecting society."

See also:

22 Jan 03 | Entertainment
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