The American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) hosted its 25th Annual Rhythm & Soul Music Awards last week at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, CA. The star-studded event, which was attended by hundreds of songwriters, recording artists and music industry leaders, paid special tribute to Quincy Jones and Pharrell Williams, and honored the songwriters and publishers of the most performed ASCAP songs on the 2011 R&B/Hip-Hop, Rap and Gospel charts.
The evening featured performances by DJ Don Cannon and rapper Meek Mill, and was attended by some of the top names in the music and entertainment industry, including Sidney Poitier, Jordin Sparks, Tyrese, Mary Mary, Kane Beatz, Marsha Ambrosius, Hit-Boy, NO ID, Clarence Avant, Wayne Brady, Warryn Campbell, and Kirko Bangz, among many others. Past ASCAP Songwriter of the Year recipients Kandi Burruss, Dave “Jam” Hall, Chad Hugo and Christopher “Tricky” Stewart were also in attendance to celebrate 25 years of Rhythm & Soul music.
The invitation-only event was sponsored by Rolling Out, an information source for urban lifestyle, breaking news and original stories. Rolling Out Publisher and Steed Media Group CEO Munson Steed led the room in a toast at the top of the ceremony to help celebrate the history of the Rhythm & Soul Awards and congratulate the evening's winners and honorees.
One of the evening's highlights was a special tribute to legendary music creator Quincy Jones, who was honored with ASCAP's Founders Award in recognition of his achievements as a producer, composer, entrepreneur and icon. To celebrate the legendary music mogul, Musical Director Michael Beardon led a tribute performance featuring Marsha Ambrosius and Tyrese, and surprise guest Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds shared some personal remarks and co-presented the award with ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams.
The ASCAP Founders Award is among the most prestigious honors that ASCAP gives to songwriters and composers who have made pioneering contributions to music by inspiring and influencing their fellow music creators. Past recipients include Sean “Diddy” Combs, Dr. Dre, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Ashford & Simpson, and Berry Gordy Jr. & Motown Industries.
Pioneering super-producer, songwriter and rapper Pharrell Williams was presented with ASCAP’s Golden Note Award, which is given to songwriters, composers and artists who have achieved extraordinary career milestones. Past recipients include Mary Mary, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Jermaine Dupri, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Alicia Keys, Jay-Z, Quincy Jones, LL Cool J, New Edition and Lionel Richie.
The Songwriter of the Year award was presented to Canadian producer Noah "40" Shebib, who penned four of the most performed songs of the past year. 40 was honored for “Fall for Your Type” (by Jamie Foxx featuring Drake), “Headlines” (by Drake), “I'm On One” (by DJ Khaled featuring Drake, Rick Ross and Lil Wayne) and “Marvin's Room” (by Drake).
ASCAP Publisher of the Year honors went to EMI Music Publishing, which was honored for 18 award-winning songs. This is the 18th consecutive win for EMI and the 20thtime in the 25-year history of the awards show that they have received thishonor. ASCAP CEO John A. LoFrumento and ASCAP Vice President of Membership, Rhythm & Soul Nicole George presented the award to EMI’s President of North American Creative Jon Platt and his creative team.
Top Song Awards went to Miguel's "Sure Thing" written by Happy Perez and Miguel Pimentel, which was named Top R&B/Hip-Hop Song, "Look At Me Now" by Chris Brown featuring Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes, which earned writers Jean-Baptiste Kouame II and Wesley Pentz the Top Rap Song award, and Kirk Franklin's "I Smile" written by James “Jimmy Jam” Harris and Terry Steven Lewis, which was named Top Gospel Song.