New York, NY, May 23, 2006: 50 Cent was named Songwriter of the Year at the 23rd Annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards celebration held May 22, 2006 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, California. Hosted by ASCAP President & Chairman Marilyn Bergman, over 700 leading songwriters, recording artists and music industry leaders gathered to salute the songwriters behind some of today's most popular music. Song of the Year honors resulted in a tie between "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" and "We Belong Together." EMI Music Publishing picked up the Publisher of the Year title, and awards were presented to the songwriters and publishers of the Most Performed Songs in the ASCAP repertory for the 2005 survey year. The evening was highlighted with the presentation of special awards to Annie Lennox and Green Day for their outstanding contributions to music.
Among the honorees, performers and luminaries present were: Alan & Marilyn Bergman, Annie Lennox, Green Day, Dave Stewart, Walter Afanasieff, Joseph Arthur, Peter Asher, Johnta Austin, Glen Ballard, Kerry "Krucial" Brothers, Bruce Broughton, Blondie drummer Clem Burke, Ryan Cabrera, Andreas Carlsson, Desmond Child, Ciara, Hal David, Vidal Davis, The Game, Sean Garrett, American Idol's Tamyra Gray, Andre Harris, Dean Kay, Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller, Maroon 5's James Valentine, Antonio "L.A." Reid, Papa Roach, Tony-nominated songwriter Brenda Russell (The Color Purple), Switchfoot and Tom Whalley (Warner Bros. Records), among others.
50 Cent was named Songwriter of the Year for his contributions to five award-winning songs: "Candy Shop," "Disco Inferno," "Hate It Or Love it," "How We Do" and "Just A Lil Bit." This is the second time that 50 Cent has received ASCAP Pop Songwriter of the Year honors. Addressing the audience of songwriters via a video message, the multi-platinum selling artist said: "I want to tell you that I use you for energy. I listen to the material that you create�it helps me move to the next level�it inspires me to write even more exciting material."
"Boulevard of Broken Dreams," written by Green Day, and "We Belong Together," co-written by Johnta Austin, Jermaine Dupri and Manuel Seal, tied for the Song of the Year title. Kelly Clarkson's "Breakaway," written by Bridget Benenate, Matthew Gerrard and Avril Lavigne (SOCAN) and "Since U Been Gone," written by Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald and Max Martin (STIM), and Maroon 5's "She Will Be Loved," written by James Valentine, rounded out the list of the Top 5 Most Performed Songs.
EMI Music Publishing was named Publisher of the Year for their 17 award-winning songs: "1985," "Behind These Hazel Eyes," "Caught Up," "Don't Phunk With My Heart," "Karma," "Let Me Hold You," "Let Me Love You," "Lonely No More," "Lose My Breath," "My Boo," "My Place (Come On Over)," "On The Way Down," "Shake It Off," "True," "Turn Me On," "We Belong Together," and "Yeah." ASCAP CEO John LoFrumento presented the award to EMI Chairman and CEO Martin Bandier. This is the fourth consecutive win for EMI and the twelfth time in the 23-year history of the awards show that they have received this honor.
Highlights of the evening included the presentation of special awards to Annie Lennox and Green Day for their outstanding contributions to music.
Annie Lennox - a member of the UK's Performing Right Society (PRS) who licenses her music through ASCAP for the U.S. - was presented with the ASCAP Founders Award, which is given to songwriters who have made pioneering contributions to music by inspiring and influencing their fellow music creators. In a video message from Sting, who was joined by Lennox on the North American-leg of his "Sacred Love Tour" in 2004, he said: "�It's no secret how much I admire you as a person, as a woman, a musician, a singer and a songwriter, and I'm thrilled that you are getting this award from ASCAP." Following a video presentation illustrating her extraordinary career, Lennox sat at the piano and performed "A Thousand Beautiful Things" from her solo album Bare, and "Sisters Are Doin' It For Themselves," from the Eurythmics fourth album Be Yourself Tonight. Then, as a special surprise, she invited Eurythmics partner, Dave Stewart, on stage to accompany her on guitar for a stunning performance of "Why."
The Founders Award is one of the most prestigious honors given by ASCAP. Each recipient is a musical innovator who possesses a unique style of songwriting genius, which will enrich generations to come. Past recipients include Jackson Browne, Elvis Costello, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Steely Dan, Sir Paul McCartney, Tom Waits, Burt Bacharach & Hal David, Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller, Stevie Wonder and Neil Young, among others.
Todd Brabec, ASCAP Executive VP/Director of Membership and Tom Whalley, Chairman and CEO of Warner Bros. Records joined Marilyn Bergman to present the ASCAP Creative Voice Award to Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool. The award is given to an ASCAP member or group whose significant career achievements are equally informed by their creative spirit and by their contributions to the role that a creator can play in their community. It was presented for the first time, in 2004, to Metallica.
Joseph Arthur, who picked up the 2006 ASCAP College Vanguard Award, moved the audience with a wonderful performance of his song "In the Sun." The award recognizes the impact of new and developing musical genres that help shape the future of American music and which gain early popularity on college radio. The award to Arthur also paid tribute to his song "In the Sun" and his generous contributions to the Hurricane Katrina Relief effort. Past recipients of the ASCAP College Vanguard Award include The Arcade Fire, Beck, Modest Mouse, The Strokes, Built to Spill, Jack Johnson, The Mars Volta, among others.
In addition to Annie Lennox and Joseph Arthur, the evening also featured performances by Papa Roach and Switchfoot who ranked among ASCAP's list of Most Performed Songs. Papa Roach opened the show with "Scars" from their 2004 album Getting Away With Murder, and Switchfoot performed "Dare You To Move" from their debut album Beautiful Letdown.
Among the songwriters receiving multiple-awards were 50 Cent with five awards; Jermaine Dupri and Sean Garrett with four awards each; Ciara and Scott Storch with three awards each; and Johnta Austin, Ryan Cabrera, Vidal Davis, Destiny's Child's Beyonc�, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, Dr. Dre, Mike Elizondo, Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald, Andre Harris, La Marquis Jefferson, Alicia Keys, The Killers' Brandon Flowers, Dave Keuning, Mark Stoermer and Ronnie Vannucci Jr., Avril Lavigne (SOCAN), Ludacris, Maroon 5's James Valentine, Max Martin (STIM), Missy Elliott, Nelly, Manuel Seal, Gwen Stefani and The Game with two awards each.
Click here for a complete list of the Most Performed Songs, an interview with Annie Lennox,
a bio of Green Day, and more.
Established in 1914, ASCAP is the first and leading U.S. Performing Rights Organization representing the world's largest repertory totaling over 8 million copyrighted musical works of every style and genre from more than 240,000 composer, lyricist and music publisher members. ASCAP also represents the repertories created by the international affiliates of 70 foreign performing rights organizations. ASCAP protects the rights of its members and foreign affiliates by licensing the public performances of their copyrighted works and distributing royalties based upon surveyed performances. ASCAP is the only American Performing Rights Organization owned and governed by its writer and publisher members. www.ascap.com
MEDIA, PLEASE NOTE: High-resolution photos of the 2006 ASCAP Pop Music Awards are available for downloading from ASCAP's Press Room.