New York, NY, April 22, 2008:
ASCAP's dominant roster of Christian music artists, songwriters and publishers was on display last night (April 21) as Christian music industry leaders from all over the world celebrated the presentation of the 30th Annual ASCAP Christian Music Awards at Richland Country Club in Nashville. In attendance were artists Chris Tomlin, Jeremy Camp, MercyMe, Kellie Pickler, Natalie Grant, Steven Curtis Chapman, Mac Powell, David Crowder, Russ Taff, Phil Stacey, Bebo Norman, Kyle Jacobs, Brandon Heath, Rush of Fools, Paul Colman, 33 Miles, Pocket Full of Rocks, and Echoing Angels.
For the fourteenth year, the premiere event was hosted by ASCAP Senior Vice President, Connie Bradley and Vice President, Dan Keen who presented awards to the songwriters and publishers of the 25 most performed songs on religious radio in 2007 as detected by Media Guide, ASCAP's digital tracking system.
who previously won the award in 2005 and 2006 earned the prestigious Songwriter Of The Year award. The newest ASCAP Christian Song Of The Year award-winner is "UNDO"
recorded by Rush Of Fools. The awards were presented to songwriters Scott Davis, Wesley Willis, Kevin Huguley and publishers Midas Music and Meaux Hits (EMICMG). EMI CMG Publishing
was named ASCAP's Christian Music Publisher of the Year for the 5th year in a row.
An exclusive highlight of the evening was the presentation of the ASCAP Partner In Song Award
to industry icon, Brown Bannister
. The award was given for "writing and producing some of the greatest songs in the vibrant history of Contemporary Christian Music". Bannister is known for producing the industry's most well known artists such as Amy Grant, Steven Curtis Chapman, MercyMe, Debby Boone, and The Imperials. He co-wrote the classic Imperials hit, "Praise The Lord" and wrote a #1 hit last year for Third Day, "Mountain Of God." Brown released his own project on Reunion Records in 1981 that yielded the self-penned hits, "Talk To One Another" and "Mountain Top."
The tribute to Brown Bannister featured music from Steven Curtis Chapman, MercyMe's Bart Millard, Grammy winners Gordon Kennedy, Tommy Sims and Wayne Kirkpatrick, Russ Taff, American Idol Phil Stacey and remarks from US Congressman Marsha Blackburn and Amy Grant's manager, Mike Blanton.
Another significant performance was given by songwriter/artist Kyle Jacobs who sang the history making Garth Brooks single, "More Than A Memory" which he co-wrote. "More Than A Memory" is the only single in history to ever debut at #1.
Established in 1914, ASCAP is the first and leading U.S. Performing Rights Organization representing the world's largest repertory totaling over 8.5 million copyrighted musical works of every style and genre from more than 315,000 songwriter, composer and music publisher members. ASCAP has representation arrangements with over 90 music rights organizations such that the ASCAP repertory is represented in nearly every country around the world. 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