May 06, 2014

ASCAP Christian Music Awards

Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith Honored with Special Awards to Commemorate ASCAP’s 100th Birthday; Capitol CMG Publishing Named ASCAP Publisher of the Year

Nashville, Tenn., May 6, 2014: The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) honored the songwriters and publishers of Christian music’s most performed songs of the past year at the 36th annual ASCAP Christian Music Awards, held on Monday, May 5th, 2014 at the historic Franklin Theatre in Franklin, Tennessee. ASCAP President and Chairman of the Board Paul Williams presented renowned songwriter-artists and Christian music trailblazers Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith with a special award in honor of ASCAP’s 100th birthday, and the ASCAP-commissioned short film “Why We Create Music,” featuring Grant among many other notable members from across all genres, was screened at the event to commemorate ASCAP’s centennial.

Theevening’s honorees were celebrated before an audience of distinguished songwriters, Christian music stars and music industry leaders, with top honors awarded to the following:

ASCAP Christian Music Songwriter of the Year: Matthew West
ASCAP Christian Music Song of the Year: “Hello My Name Is,” written and recorded by Matthew West, published by Combustion Music Publishing and Warner/Chappell Music Publishing
ASCAP Christian Music Publisher of the Year: Capitol CMG Publishing

A total of 25 most-performed song awards were presented by ASCAP Nashville Membership heads Michael Martin and LeAnn Phelan, joined by Director of Strategic Services Kele Currier and Associate Director of Membership Ryan Beuschel. Sony Music/Essential Records emerging Christian rock duo PawnShop Kings opened the show with their song, “Love Like Jesus.”

Performances included award-winning songwriter-artists MercyMe with “You Are I Am;” Matthew West with his 2014 Christian Music Song of the Year, “Hello My Name Is;” and, in a special tribute to ASCAP’s top Christian music songs of the past 100 years, Michael W. Smith andMercyMe’s Bart Millard performed a medley of worship standards “Awesome God” and “I Can Only Imagine.”

In a special awards segment in honor of ASCAP’s 100th anniversary, Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith were honored as “cornerstones of Christian music” for their groundbreaking 35-year careers and significant influence on the genre. Don Finto, Pastor Emeritus of Belmont Church and friend and mentor to Grant and Smith, and Brown Bannister, award-winning producer/engineer and friend of the duo, paid tribute to the pair with inspiring recollections of their lengthy and immensely successful careers, as well as their enduring faith in God and devotion to serving others. Immediately following, acclaimed songwriter-artist Ashley Cleveland performed “Thy Word” in honor of Grant and Smith.

Matthew West earned his first ASCAP Christian Music Songwriter of the Year award, due in large part to the major success of his single, “Hello My Name Is,” which spent a record-setting 17 weeks at the top of the Christian music charts and was named ASCAP’s 2014 Christian Music Song of the Year. He also earned an ASCAP most-performed song award for co-writing Casting Crowns “Already There.” West is a four-time Grammy nominee, a multiple ASCAP Christian Music Song of the Year winner, a 12-time #1 songwriter and songwriter-artist, and was named Billboard’s top Christian music songwriter of 2013. West’s fifth studio album, Into The Light, was nominated for Best Contemporary Christian Album at last year’s Grammy Awards and he was named Best Contemporary Inspirational Artist at the 2013 American Music Awards.

ASCAP Publisher Board member Barry Coburn presented the ASCAP Christian Music Publisher of the Year award to Capitol CMG Publishing, who claimed the title for the 11th consecutive year with 11 award-winning songs: “Every Good Thing,” “Overcomer,” “My God,” “Words,” “Lord I Need You,” “Your Love Never Fails,” “You Are,” “Live With Abandon,” “Build Your Kingdom Here,” “God’s Great Dance Floor” and “Carry Me.” Capitol CMG Publishing President Eddie DeGarmo and his team were on hand to accept the award.

Notable songwriters and artists in attendance included three-time ASCAP Christian Music Songwriter of the Year Ben Glover, Jared Anderson, Francesca Battistelli, Benji Cowart, Big Daddy Weave, Colton Dixon, Finding Favor, Cindy Morgan, DanMuckala, Britt Nicole, Unspoken, Josh Wilson and more.

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a professional membership organization of songwriters, composers and music publishers of every kind of music. ASCAP's mission is to license and promote the music of its members and foreign affiliates, obtain fair compensation for the public performance of their works and to distribute the royalties that it collects based upon those performances. ASCAP members write the world's best-loved music and ASCAP has pioneered the efficient licensing of that music to hundreds of thousands of enterprises who use it to add value to their business - from bars, restaurants and retail, to radio, TV and cable, to Internet, mobile services and more. The ASCAP license offers an efficient solution for businesses to legally perform ASCAP music while respecting the right of songwriters and composers to be paid fairly. With 700,000 members representing more than 11.5 million copyrighted works, ASCAP is the worldwide leader in performance royalties, service and advocacy for songwriters and composers, and the only American performing rights organization (PRO) owned and governed by its writer and publisher members.

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Media Contacts
Alison Toczylowski / ASCAP | 615.742.5073

Ronna Rubin / Rubin Media | 615.298.4400