June 23, 2007

Songwriter of the Year Alumni convene in Los Angeles to mark 20th Anniversary of ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Awards

Chris "Ludacris" Bridges and Chaka Zulu Host Songwriter of the Year Alumni Event, "Dropping Knowledge," to mark 20th Anniversary of ASCAP's Rhythm & Soul Music Awards


Chaka Zulu, Dave "Jam" Hall, Teddy Riley, ASCAP's Jeanie Weems, Ludacris, Kandi Burruss, ASCAP's Todd Brabec, Jimmy Jam and Narada Michael Walden

To mark the 20th Anniversary of ASCAP's Rhythm & Soul Music Awards, a special event featuring Songwriter of the Year Alumni was held at the Linwood Dunn Theater at The Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study on June 23, 2007. Hosted by Ludacris and Chaka Zulu, the panel of distinguished songwriters featured Jimmy Jam, Narada Michael Walden, Teddy Riley, Dave "Jam" Hall and Kandi Burruss sharing stories behind their songs.


Chris "Ludacris" Bridges is as multi-talented as he is successful. As a rapper, Ludacris has sold over 13 million records in the U.S. alone and won numerous industry accolades, including multiple ASCAP Rhythm & Soul awards and three Grammys. In 2000, Ludacris and his manager Chaka Zulu co-founded the record label Disturbing Tha Peace to release his debut album - the label has since been picked up by Def Jam Recordings and released hit records by Chingy, Field Mob and Bobby Valentino. Most recently, Ludacris' roles in Hustle & Flow and Crash jump-started a budding acting career.

Co-founder of Disturbing Tha Peace Records with Ludacris, Chaka Zulu has emerged as one of the most influential entertainment executives today. In addition to his day-to-day operation of the record label, he is fast becoming one of the go-to guys in the business for creative business deals. He is currently highlighted as one of Essence Magazine's Top 20 music industry people to know.

ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Songwriter of the Year: 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995

Jimmy Jam is a living legend in the music industry. Throughout an impressive 25-year partnership (and 35-year friendship), Jimmy and his partner Terry Lewis have enjoyed unparalleled success as songwriters, producers, musicians and entrepreneurs. As if guiding Janet Jackson to superstardom wasn't enough, Jimmy and Terry have graced over 100 gold, platinum or multi-platinum albums with their signature songwriting or production, and worked with artists as diverse as Boyz II Men, Gwen Stefani, Human League, Herb Alpert, Sting and Kanye West. As co-founder of Flyte Tyme Records, Jimmy and Terry have found success with superstar Usher. They've been recognized with Grammy wins, Oscar and Emmy nominations, an NAACP Image Award, the ASCAP Golden Note and Rhythm & Soul Heritage Awards, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Jimmy also sits on ASCAP's Board of Directors, and was recently elected the first African-American chairman of the Recording Academy.

ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Songwriter of the Year: 1992

A pioneering musician, acclaimed solo artist and decorated producer/songwriter, Narada Michael Walden has done it all. Narada first made waves as the drummer for the Mahavishnu Orchestra and Jeff Beck in the seventies. He then went on to become of the biggest and most versatile producer/songwriters in the industry, penning number one hits for Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Aretha Franklin and Lisa Fischer and giving Wynonna Judd, Stevie Wonder and The Temptations some of the biggest songs of their careers. He earned the Producer of the Year Grammy in 1987, and produced the record-breaking 1993 soundtrack to The Bodyguard, among his countless other industry accolades. Narada is keeping busy today with this Marin County-based Tarpan Studios, his record label Tarpan Records, and his thriving publishing and production company in addition to a variety of philanthropic pursuits.

ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Songwriter of the Year: 1993

Teddy Riley, the acknowledged "King of New Jack Swing" is a respected performer, innovative producer and in-demand songwriter who has risen to the highest echelons of artistry and success. He had his first major songwriting credit at the age of 15 with Doug E. Fresh's "The Show/La Di Da Di." And the hits just kept on coming, whether with Teddy's own group Guy and Blackstreet, or with songs that he wrote or produced for Bobby Brown, Heavy D and the Boys, Keith Sweat, Joe, Michael Jackson and Mary J. Blige. These days, Teddy is working on new projects with Kylie Minogue, The Backstreet Boys and Michael Jackson, as well as highly anticipated comeback albums from both Guy and Blackstreet.

ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Songwriter of the Year: 1994

Dave "Jam" Hall is famous for working on Mary J. Blige's debut album, What's the 411?, including the hit single, "You Remind Me;" with Madonna, co writing and producing several tracks from her Bedtime Stories album; working with R&B group, Brownstone, and co-writing and producing two of Mariah Carey's biggest hits, "Dreamlover" and "Fantasy." He also has produced for Usher, Donnell Jones and Joe. Continuing to write and produce he has developed a record label and recording studio with full service production lab, he is working with the group Assorted Flavors.

ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Songwriter of the Year: 2000

After meeting success as a singer in the multi-platinum selling vocal group Xscape, Kandi Burruss hit it even bigger as a songwriter. She is best known for the megahit "No Scrubs" by TLC, which won the Grammy for "Best R&B Song," and made her the first female ever to be named the ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Songwriter of the Year. Kandi was responsible for five songs on the 10-million selling Destiny's Child album The Writing's On The Wall, including two of its biggest singles, "Bills, Bills, Bills" and "Bug-A-Boo." She has gone on to write songs for Mariah Carey, Faith Evans, 'N Sync, Whitney Houston and Alicia Keys. Kandi's recording career is still going strong, too - she was featured on E-40's smash 2006 hit "U and Dat," which won her an ASCAP Pop Award and an ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Award this year.

20th Anniversary ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards