Giving new meaning to "congressional record," two-time Grammy recipient and "American Idol" winner Kelly Clarkson recorded a jam session with eight members of Congress today on Capitol Hill.
The event, called Grammys on the Hill, was part of an effort by the Recording Academy to bring attention to the problem of illegal downloading of music on the Internet.
Hundreds of millions of songs are downloaded each day around the globe; some of them legally, some of them by means that break the law.
Stopping those illegal downloaders and protecting the rights of those who make and sell music are two goals in which some members of Congress and music industry executives seem to be in perfect harmony.
The Recording Academy described the event as a day of music advocacy and recognition. The purpose of the recording session was not just to make music but also to demonstrate how much work goes into it.
"Not many people know what it takes to make music," Clarkson told ABC News. "They see my face, but there are a lot of people that make it happen."
So, step by step, award-winning producer Jimmy Jam took the audience through the recording ordeal. First, the songwriters and artist compose a melody and song. A producer finds the right musicians and engineers, and everyone else the producer believes will best represent the artist when the song is finalized.
In the example given today, those steps had already been taken, and Clarkson was ready to record her new song, "Maybe".
"If you trust me, if you love me ... maybe," Clarkson belted out as the eight-member Congressional Grammy Band snapped and clapped in rhythm behind her.
Rep. Mary Bono, R-Calif., widow of singer Sonny Bono and co-chair of the Recording Arts and Sciences Congressional Caucus, said the event helped bridge the age gap on the Hill.
"A lot of members of Congress don't even have iPods," Bono said.
The recording session had a true Hollywood feel, with a number of industry movers and shakers in the room, including "American Idol" judge Randy Jackson.
Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., was also on hand to receive an actual Grammy award for the narration of his best-selling book, "Dreams From My Father."
The day will conclude this evening with a gala dinner honoring Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., and Kelly Clarkson for their efforts to protect artists' rights.
Clarkson is an honorary board member of a national campaign called "What's the Download?" The campaign aims to educate downloaders and to create a dialogue between music lovers and artists on the issue of downloading.
Grammy winner Kanye West, rapper Common and Sugar Ray frontman Mark McGrath are also members.