Founders Awards: Steven Tyler & Joe Perry

Steven Tyler & Joe Perry

Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, the powerhouse duo behind many of the greatest rock hits of all time, are being honored with the 2013 ASCAP Founders Award.

The two planted the seeds of what would become one of history’s greatest American rock bands when they joined forces in Boston in the early ‘70s to form Aerosmith. In a genre known for its “live fast, die young” mantra, Tyler and Perry have become models of endurance, leading Aerosmith through the decades and creating timeless music that is nothing short of legendary.

The songwriting partnership between the two began when Tyler joined Perry’s band, Jam Band, along with Tom Hamilton, Joey Kramer and original member Ray Tabano. The group changed its name to Aerosmith and released a self-titled debut in 1973, featuring one of their iconic hits written by Tyler, “Dream On.” Get Your Wings came next in 1974 where Tyler and Perry established their signature sound with lead single, “Same Old Song and Dance,” a true blues-inspired hard rock track.

Aerosmith’s third album, Toys in the Attic, was their breakthrough, catapulting them to superstardom and solidifying their place in the history of hard rock. With tracks like “Sweet Emotion” and “Walk This Way,” Toys in the Attic made Tyler and Perry’s songs into radio staples that could sell out stadiums. Rocks followed, nearly topping the success of Toys in the Attic as Tyler and Perry dove deeper into the feeling of rawness that permeated their previous releases. If there was doubt of the two’s influence on the future of music, Rocks erased it. “Back in the Saddle,” the album’s first track, became a definitive song of the genre, while the Tyler-penned “Last Child” further blurred popular genres with its funk-inspired bass.

Tyler and Perry are known to push the limits of music, and it was never more evident than when they appeared on Run DMC’s 1986 cover of “Walk This Way,” officially breaking the barriers between rock and rap. Through the ‘80s and ‘90s, Tyler and Perry kept Aerosmith alive and well – nearly 15 years after their debut – with a string of radio hits, including “Dude (Looks Like a Lady),” “Rag Doll,” “What It Takes” and “Love in an Elevator.”

The duo’s success has continued as their sound adapts while maintaining its signature raw, blues roots. After 40 years, they have four Grammy awards, nine Billboard #1 songs, 11 albums that went platinum at least once and 26 tours to their names. They have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and this June they will join the Songwriters Hall of Fame. ASCAP proudly presents Steven Tyler and Joe Perry with our most prestigious honor, The ASCAP Founders Award, given to songwriters and composers who have made pioneering contributions to music by inspiring and influencing their fellow music creators. Tyler and Perry’s unique style of creative genius will surely continue to enrich generations to come.