Nashville, TN, March 19, 2012: ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) saluted the songwriters and publishers of Christian music’s most performed songs at its 34th annual Christian Music Awards held Monday, March 19, 2012 at Richland Country Club in Nashville. These songwriters and publishers were honored before an audience of many distinguished songwriters, top Christian music stars and music industry leaders. The evening’s top honors were awarded to the following:
ASCAP Christian Songwriter of the Year: Ben Glover
ASCAP Christian Songwriter/Artist of the Year: Josh Wilson (Sparrow Records)
ASCAP Christian Song of the Year: “Glorious Day,” written by Michael Bleeker; published by Word Music Publishing. Performed by Casting Crowns.
ASCAP Christian Publisher of the Year: EMI CMG Publishing
A total of 24 most performed song honors were handed out by ASCAP Nashville’s Michael Martin, LeAnn Phelan and Ryan Beuschel while interspersed with several memorable performances by some of this year’s award winners. Those performances included Josh Wilson, “I Refuse,” Dara Maclean, “Home,” and Moriah Peters, "Well Done."
ASCAP Vice President and General Manager, Nashville, Marc Driskill presented Ben Glover with his second Songwriter of the Year award. Glover co-penned four of the most performed songs of the past year: “Stronger,” (Mandisa), “Dear X,” (Disciple), “I Refuse,” (Josh Wilson) and “Waiting For Tomorrow,” (Mandisa). He’s had 11 No. 1 songs and multiple Dove Award nominations. He’s had over 200 songs recorded by a wide range of artists including Trace Adkins, Brandon Heath, Lee Brice, Steve Holy, Britt Nicole, Francesca Battistelli, Marc Broussard, Gloriana, Kari Jobe, Clay Walker, Sanctus Real, Joy Williams, Fireflight, MIKESCHAIR, and even The Backstreet Boys, among many others. And to add to that, he currently has 5 singles on the Billboard chart.
Collecting ASCAP Song of the Year honors for “Glorious Day,” recorded by Casting Crowns, was Michael Bleeker. The publisher for “Glorious Day” is Word Music Publishing. The song is a re-invention of the timeless hymn “One Day,” written in 1910 by John Wilbur Chapman, and this new interpretation’s verse melody was set by Michael Bleecker at The Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas. The single has been extremely successful on Christian radio, reaching number one on the Hot Christian Songs, Soft AC/Inspirational, and Christian AC charts, as well as making inroads on secular charts, peaking at #2 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles.
Josh Wilson was honored with the ASCAP Songwriter/Artist of the Year award. Wilson’s 2008 major label debut was met with critical acclaim, hailed as “the future of Christian pop” and named among the Top Ten Best Albums of the year by GospelMusicChannel.com. Since then, he has released numerous #1 hits including “Savior Please” and the powerful track “Before the Morning,” which landed the #4 spot on Billboard’s Year-End Christian Songs chart, all while also releasing a sophomore album, Life Is Not A Snapshot, and a compilation self-titled record. Last year, he released his third studio album, See You, which was praised by critics across the board and featured the hits "I Refuse" and "Fall Apart " – both of which were honored here tonight. In December, he celebrated his first #1 hit with another of tonight’s most performed songs, "Jesus Is Alive."
ASCAP Publisher of the Year honors went to EMI CMG Publishing for the ninth consecutive year and by coincidence, they had nine most played songs honored including “Dear X (You Don’t Own Me),” (Ariose Music Group/Meadowgreen Music Company), “I Lift My Hands,” (Worshiptogethers.com songs), “Jesus Is Alive,” (Meaux Hits), “Stronger,” (Ariose Music Group), “The Way,” (Thirsty Moon River Publishing), “I Refuse,” (Meaux Hits/Ariose Music Group), “Waiting For Tomorrow,” (Ariose Music Group), “Fall Apart,” (Meaux Hits) and “The Redeemer,” (Birdwing Music).
Songwriters and artists in attendance included: Michael W. Smith (who offered the opening prayer), Matthew West, Jason Gray, Josh Wilson, Brandon Heath, Sanctus Real, Mandisa, Shawn McDonald, Chris August, Moriah Peters, Dara Maclean, April Geesbregh and Phillip LaRue.