April 18, 2007

24th Annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards

Melissa Etheridge, Johntá Austin, Mary J. Blige, Kelly Clarkson, Jermaine Dupri, The All-American Rejects, EMI Music Publishing receive top honors at ASCAP Pop Music Awards


Pictured (l-r) are ASCAP's Tom DeSavia, ASCAP President and Chairman Marilyn Bergman, ASCAP Founders Award honoree Melissa Etheridge and ASCAP's Todd Brabec

To salute the songwriters behind some of today's most popular music, over 850 songwriters, recording artists and music industry leaders gathered at the 24th Annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards held April 18 at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles, California. At the event, for the first-time held at the prestigious Kodak Theatre as part of "ASCAP I Create Music Week," and open to attendees of ASCAP's EXPO, top awards were presented to Johntá Austin and Jermaine Dupri who shared Songwriter of the Year honors; "Because of You" and "Be Without You" tied for Song of the Year; EMI Music Publishing picked up the Publisher of the Year title, and special awards were presented to Melissa Etheridge and The All- American Rejects.

Johntá Austin and Jermaine Dupri shared the coveted Songwriter of the Year title for penning six songs apiece, including "Don't Forget About Us," "Like You," "Shake It Off" and "We Belong Together." Austin also won for "Be Without You" and "Yo (Excuse Me Miss)" and Dupri for "Grillz" and "Pullin' Me Back." This is the first time that the Atlanta natives have been named ASCAP Pop Songwriters of the Year.

The sought-after Song of the Year Award was a tie between "Be Without You," written by Austin and Mary J. Blige, and "Because of You," written by Kelly Clarkson. Clarkson also collected ASCAP Pop Awards for "Behind These Hazel Eyes," co-written with Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald and Max Martin, and "Walk Away," co-written with Chantal Kreviazuk and Raine Maida.

EMI Music Publishing was named Publisher of the Year for their 26 award-winning songs. This is the fifth consecutive win for EMI and the thirteenth time in the 24- year history of the awards show that they have received this honor.

The ASCAP Founders Award is among the most prestigious honors that ASCAP gives to songwriters who have made pioneering contributions to music by inspiring and influencing their fellow music creators, and the tribute to the 2007 Founders Award honoree, Melissa Etheridge, was one of the brightest highlights of the evening. 2004 ASCAP Founders Award honoree Jackson Browne joined ASCAP President and Chairman Marilyn Bergman onstage to present the award to Etheridge. Browne then introduced Fred Martin & The Levite Camp, who performed a rousing version of Etheridge's Oscar® winning song, "I Need To Wake Up."

The All-American Rejects were honored with ASCAP's Vanguard Award in recognition of the impact of musical genres that help shape the future of American music. The band's principal songwriters Tyson Ritter and Nick Wheeler also received two ASCAP Pop Awards for "Dirty Little Secret" and "Move Along," which they performed during the awards ceremony. Past ASCAP Vanguard honorees include: The Arcade Fire, Beck, Modest Mouse, the Strokes, Built to Spill, the Mars Volta, Joseph Arthur and Jack Johnson.

The evening also featured performances by The Fray's Joe King and Isaac Slade, who collected awards for "Over My Head" and "How To Save A Life;" Nick Lachey and cowriters Jess Cates, Emanuel Kiriakou and Lindy Robbins, who won for "What's Left Of Me;" Anna Nalick who won for "Breathe (2AM)," and Darrell Brown, Ty Lacy and Dennis Matkosky who won for penning Keith Urban's hit song "You'll Think of Me." Among the songwriters receiving multipleawards were Johntá Austin and Jermaine Dupri with six awards each; Kelly Clarkson, Green Day, Mikkel Eriksen (PRS), Tor Hermansen (PRS) and Timbaland with three awards each; and All-American Rejects' Tyson Ritter and Nick Wheeler, Beyoncé, Danger Mouse, The Fray's Joe King and Isaac Slade, Sean Garrett, LRoc, Sean Paul, Rob Thomas and Justin Timberlake with two awards each.

View photos and video coverage of this year's Pop Music Awards