Even though TVB and the Hong Kong Recording Industry Alliance (HKRIA) finally resolved their differences in 2013, their long-term royalty dispute will continue to affect the outcome of the 2013 Jade Solid Gold Music Awards, which is set to take place on Sunday, January 19.
When the HKRIA demanded an increase to TVB’s royalty tax in late 2009, the TV station responded by banning all of the Alliance’s singers from their programming. As a result, the once-prestigious Jade Solid Gold Music Awards could only reap its winners from artists belonging to record labels in good standing, namely EEG and Stars Shine International, which has recently transformed itself into TVB’s own record label Stars Dream.
Since many of Hong Kong’s top musicians are signed with the Alliance, this move generated major public outcry and caused record low ratings for the JSG program. TVB was reportedly in discussions to phase out the show and even suggested that they will cancel the annual awards.
In early 2013, both TVB and HKRIA surprisingly agreed to what is dubbed a “basket contract” to settle the controversy, allowing Alliance artists to return to the small screen in exchange for a six-figure royalty payment. However, in order to obtain eligibility to compete in the JSG Awards, artists must sign an additional JSG competition contract. Because of this clause, this year’s awards will likely remain EEG and TVB’s playground. Top artist Eason Chan (陳奕迅) already confirmed that he will not be attending the show, and Kay Tse (謝安琪), who had declined to follow Stars Shine into TVB, will likely lose the Most Popular Female Artist title to EEG’s top sister Joey Yung (容祖兒).
Although Leo Ku (古巨基) has been the winner of the Most Popular Male Singer Award during the controversy, fellow label-mate Raymond Lam (林峯) snagged the title last year. With a large fan base, Raymond has a good chance to continue his reign this year, as the awards are based on popular votes. However, his hesitation about renewing his TVB contract coupled by his alleged rebellious attitude could be detrimental to his relationship with the station. Raymond’s attendance at the JSG awards show is uncertain as well. Some suggested that TVB is pinning their hopes instead on popular The Voice <超級巨聲> contestant and Stars Dream artist Alfred Hui (許廷鏗).
While many top singers will again be absent, there is still hope that TVB will invite other heavyweights to rejuvenate the event. Chilam Cheung (張智霖), who recently won recognition for his cover of Eason’s popular Triumph in the Skies <衝上雲霄> theme song, has expressed interest in attending. “I will attend any award ceremony if my schedule allows, though I do not know if TVB will invite me.”
This article is written by Katrine for JayneStars.com.