March 04, 2004

12TH ANNUAL EL PREMIO ASCAP AWARDS HELD IN PUERTO RICO

CITY OF SAN JUAN DECLARES "ASCAP DAY" ON MARCH 11TH

JOAN SEBASTIAN AND RUDY PEREZ NAMED SONGWRITERS OF THE YEAR

SONY/ATV MUSIC PUBLISHING NAMED PUBLISHER OF THE YEAR

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS HONORED
EDNITA NAZARIO WITH "ASCAP LATIN HERITAGE AWARD" AND
JOHNNY PACHECO WITH "ASCAP SILVER PEN AWARD"

" ASCAP PARTNER IN MUSIC AWARD" PRESENTED TO
JOSE A. RIBAS

San Juan, Puerto Rico, March 11, 2004: The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) celebrated its 12th annual El Premio ASCAP Awards at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico. This was the first time that the Performing Rights Society presented their awards ceremony on Puerto Rican soil in recognition of the creative talent and tremendous growth of the musical community on the island. ASCAP received a warm welcome as San Juan Bautista Mayor Jorge A. Santini Padilla proclaimed March 11th "ASCAP Day" saying, "We commend ASCAP for its contributions to the music and lyrics that enrich lives in our community, our country, and every corner of the world; and we extend our appreciation to this organization for their continued efforts on behalf of music across the spectrum."

Queen of Merengue Milly Quezada and TV personality Rafael Jose were the special guest hosts of the evening’s festivities along with ASCAP’s CEO John LoFrumento.

The invitation-only gala honored the songwriters and publishers of ASCAP's most performed songs in Latin music in 2003. Among the artists and award recipients in attendance were Omar Alfanno, Victor Manuelle, Area 305, Obie Bermudez, Noelia, Claudia Brant, Jorge Correa, Oscar Serrano, Tego Calderón, Domingo Quiñones, Ismael Miranda, Danny Rivera, Nydia Caro, Billy Van, Son By Four, Bobby Valentin and Andy Montañez.

Sharing "Songwriter of the Year" honors were Joan Sebastian and Rudy Perez. This is the third time they have been presented with this prestigious award, which is one of the top honors the performing rights organization bestows upon its members.

Joan Sebastian was born in the town of Julianita of Sierra Guerrero in Mexico. During his early musical career, he blossomed as both a songwriter and an interpreter. In 2000, ASCAP honored Sebastian with “The Silver Pen Award” recognizing 35 years of song crafting. The most recent works of this Grammy award winner include: “Secreto de Amor”, “Un Idiota” and “Amorcito Mio”. His music has been interpreted by such notable artists as Rocio Durcal, Lucero, Banda Cachorros, and Graciela Beltran, among others.

Rudy Perez is one of the most successful songwriters and producers currently working in Latin music. He has over 50 platinum records and has won four Grammy awards. His music can be heard in television commercials and Disney films, and he has written hit songs for many recording artists including Julio Iglesias, Lujs Miguel, Roberto Carlos and Cristian.

Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC was named "Publisher of the Year" as the publisher of the most award-winning songs -- a total of 32. Richard Rowe, President of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, and Eddie Fernandez, Vice President of Sony/ATV, Norte and Latin American Region were on hand to pick up the award.

The evening also featured the special presentation of the ASCAP Latin Heritage Award to Ednita Nazario by her beloved friend and colleague, Danny Rivera. In the realm of Latin music, Ednita Nazario is a symbol of talent, quality, perseverance and passion. She has worked with important producers like KC Porter, Joe Lamont (Air Supply), Robi “Draco” Rosa and the songwriter Tommy Torres. Her live double album, Acústico, received a Grammy nomination and a Gold Record.

Another highlight was the presentation of the "ASCAP Silver Pen Award" to legendary songwriter and musician Johnny Pacheco in celebration of his long and distinguished career.

ASCAP also presented Jose A. Ribas, Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Radio Broadcasters Association, with the "ASCAP Partner in Music Award" (Premio A Socios de la Música). Jose's work with radio broadcasters in PR has helped to promote the use of ASCAP members' music on the island. Ribas has been an active member of the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) and BEDA (Broadcast Executive Directors Association) since 1988.

El Premio ASCAP music honors were presented in three categories: Regional Mexican, Tropical and Pop/Balada. Special honors were also awarded to the Latin Song of the Year, Rock Song of the Year, Hip-Hop/Rap/Reggae Song of the Year and Independent Group of the Year. The Latin Song of the Year was awarded to “Tal Vez” composed by Franco de Vita and published by Warner Bros Corp.; Rock Song of the Year was presented to “Eres Mi Religion”, composed by José Fernando Olvera Sierra, published by EMI April Music; and the Hip-Hop/Rap/Reggae Song of the Year went to “Masucamba” a/k/a/ “Al Natural” composed by Tego Calderón and published by El Abayarde. The award to the Independent Group of the Year was presented to Yerba Buena. (See list of winners...)

ASCAP is the dominant creative force in Latin music. Based on Billboard’s 2003 year-end charts, ASCAP members secured 82.5% of Latin Tropical/Salsa Airplay with 9 of the top 10 songs, 75% of Latin Pop Airplay with 6 of the top 10 songs, 74% of Hot Latin Tracks with 5 of the top 10 songs, and 50% of Latin Regional Mexican Airplay with 8 of the top 10 songs.

2004 marks the 90th anniversary of the founding of ASCAP. As the world’s largest Performing Rights Organization, ASCAP has over 175,000 composer, lyricist and music publisher members representing all genres of music. ASCAP is committed to protecting the rights of its members by licensing and collecting royalties for the public performance of their copyrighted works, and then distributing these fees to the Society’s members based on performances. ASCAP’s Board of Directors is made up solely of writers and publishers, elected by the membership every two years.