Jeff Lynne Accepts ASCAP Founders Award Debbie Harry, Chris Stein & Clem Burke of Blondie Receive ASCAP Golden Note Award Billie Eilish and FINNEAS Take Home ASCAP Vanguard Award Sony/ATV is Publisher of the Year Kobalt Music is Independent Publisher of the Year
Pop music royalty and legends in the making were on hand for exclusive performances and a surprise special guest as ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) celebrated the writers and publishers of the most-performed music of the past year at the 36th annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards tonight in Los Angeles.
A capacity audience of industry VIPs and tastemakers packed the historic Beverly Hilton International Ballroom as songwriter Louis Bell received the 2019 ASCAP Pop Music Songwriter of the Year award for the first time for his work on songs including “Better Now” (Post Malone), “Havana” (Camila Cabello Feat. Young Thug) and “Wolves” (Selena Gomez & Marshmello).
Two radio and streaming favorites nabbed top trophies for their popularity last year: “The Middle” (Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey) was recognized as Song of the Year, co-written by Stefan Johnson and Anton Zaslavski (Zedd) and published by 1916 PUBLISHING LLC, Kobalt Music, Universal Music Publishing Group and Zedd Music Empire. Most Streamed Song of the Year went to “God’s Plan” (Drake), co-written by Ronald “Cardo” La Tour, Matthew “Boi-1da” Samuels and Noah “40” Shebib and published by 1Damentional Publishing, Cardo on the Beat, Sony/ATV Tunes LLC and Universal Music Publishing Group. Songwriter Emily Warren performed an acoustic version of her Dua Lipa hit “New Rules,” also among the year’s most performed songs.
Pop music icon and leader of ELO Jeff Lynne was feted with the prestigious ASCAP Founders Award for his unparalleled hitmaking talent and a career that spans more than five decades. Famed guitarist and fellow Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Joe Walsh bestowed the honor. Previous recipients include Elvis Costello, Annie Lennox, Sir Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell, Tom Petty, Patti Smith, Stevie Wonder and Neil Young. As part of the show, Lynne treated the audience to an unusual stripped-down performance of three of his monster hits, “Telephone Line,” “Evil Woman” and “All Over the World.”
Debbie Harry, Chris Stein and Clem Burke of punk and new wave game-changers Blondie received the ASCAP Golden Note Award for their extraordinary career and influence on the worlds of music, fashion and art. The award has previously gone to such luminaries as Duran Duran, Lindsay Buckingham, Trent Reznor, George Michael, A Tribe Called Quest, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Alicia Keys and more.The band members delivered a power-packed live performance of their hits “Call Me,” “Long Time” and “Heart of Glass.”
Oscar-winning actress and superfan Julia Roberts made a surprise appearance to present the ASCAP Vanguard Award to newly minted superstars Billie Eilishand FINNEAS. The two join the ranks of previous recipients of the award – such as Portugal. The Man, St. Vincent, Nine Inch Nails, Janelle Monáe, Beastie Boys and Björk -which recognizes ASCAP members whose innovative work is helping to shape the future of music. In the most anticipated performances of the night, the brother/sister team provided riveting acoustic versions of Billie’s songs “when the party’s over” and “i love you,” and from FINNEAS solo, “I Lost a Friend.”
Publisher of the Year went to Sony/ATV for their role in multiple hits of the past year including “Girls Like You” (Maroon 5 Feat. Cardi B), “Something Just Like This” (The Chainsmokers & Coldplay) and “God’s Plan” (Drake).
For their first time winning in this category, Kobalt Music took home Independent Publisher of the Year in recognition of hits including “God Is a Woman” (Ariana Grande), “I Like It” (Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin) and “High Hopes” (Panic! at the Disco).
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a professional membership organization of songwriters, composers and music publishers of every kind of music. ASCAP’s mission is to license and promote the music of its members and foreign affiliates, obtain fair compensation for the public performance of their works and to distribute the royalties that it collects based upon those performances. ASCAP members write the world’s best-loved music and ASCAP has pioneered the efficient licensing of that music to hundreds of thousands of enterprises who use it to add value to their business – from bars, restaurants and retail, to radio, TV and cable, to Internet, mobile services and more. The ASCAP license offers an efficient solution for businesses to legally perform ASCAP music while respecting the right of songwriters and composers to be paid fairly. With more than 700,000 members representing more than 11.5 million copyrighted works, ASCAP is the worldwide leader in performance royalties, service and advocacy for songwriters and composers, and the only American performing rights organization (PRO) owned and governed by its writer and publisher members. Learn more and stay in touch at www.ascap.com, on Twitter @ASCAP and on Facebook.
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