2018 ASCAP Pop Music Awards
The ASCAP Pop Awards are always a good time, but this year’s ceremony was truly a night to remember. We gave out special honors to some of the brightest lights in music: iconic hitmaker Desmond Child (Founders Award), Portugal. The Man (Vanguard Award) and pop chanteuse Lana Del Rey (Global Impact Award), plus our four Songwriter of the Year honorees, Starrah, Drew Taggart, Steve Mac and Max Martin - and celebrated the writers and publishers of the most-performed songs of 2017. Universal Music Publishing Group was named Publisher of the Year, and BMG took home Independent Publisher of the Year honors for the third consecutive year.
The winning songs this year exemplified the ever-evolving, boundary-breaking nature of popular music today. Our Song of the Year went to the writers and publishers of the dancehall-infused pop song “Shape of You,” while the recording-breaking Latin crossover single “Despacito” earned our inaugural Most Streamed Song of the Year award. We honored pop songs with guest rap verses; hip-hop singles with massive pop hooks; chart toppers by EDM stars, R&B tracks that sample Latin guitar, and a host of other genre-crossing, globetrotting music.
What’s an awards show without live music? Portugal. The Man treated the audience to a raucous live version of “Feel It Still” (which won them a Grammy), and Father John Misty paid tribute to his friend Lana Del Rey with an intimate take on “Ride.” Madison Emiko Love, Fastball’s Tony Scalzo and Futuristics member Joe Khajadourian performed “Bad Things,” their hit for Machine Gun Kelly x Camila Cabello.
But the night belonged to multi-platinum, Grammy-winning songwriter Desmond Child, who was given the ASCAP Founders Award in recognition of his five-decade career of iconic songs like “Livin’ On A Prayer,” “You Give Love A Bad Name,” “I Was Made For Lovin’ You,” “Dude (Looks Like A Lady),” “Livin’ La Vida Loca,” “Waking Up In Vegas” and “Beautiful Now.” The segment opened with a surprise performance by Alice Cooper, performing his 1989 hit “Poison,” co-written with Child. Powerhouse vocalist Justin Benlolo rocked the house with a medley of Child’s greatest hits, right before Paul Stanley of KISS presented the Founders Award to the man of the hour. It was another star-studded highlight of a night already stuffed with them.