December 12, 2013

The 2014 ASCAP Foundation Awards Ceremony

The ASCAP Foundation Honors Ne-Yo with Champion Award at 18th Annual Awards Ceremony

Martin Charnin receives Inaugural George M. Cohan Award

The ASCAP Foundation honored prolific singer-songwriter Ne-Yo with the ASCAP Foundation Champion Award in recognition of his leadership in efforts to increase awareness of disadvantaged children in American cities. The accolade was presented during the Foundation's 18th annual Awards Ceremony, held on December 11th, 2013 at the Allen Room, Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City. ASCAP Foundation President Paul Williams hosted the event.

Previous recipients of the Champion Award include Tony Bennett and Susan Bennedetto, Judy Collins, Arlo Guthrie, Billy Joel, John Mellencamp and Jason Mraz.

Commenting on the award to Ne-Yo, Williams said: “Not only is Ne-Yo a brilliant and wildly successful songwriter and performer, his tireless efforts to enhance the futures of today’s youth make him a true inspiration. Though he’s only 34 years-old, making him the youngest ever recipient of this award, he has already achieved a great deal as a songwriter, recording artist, producer, actor and philanthropist. We’re honored to celebrate Ne-Yo with this year’s ASCAP Foundation Champion Award.”

An Arkansas native, Shaffer Chimere Smith, universally known as Ne-Yo, grew up in a musical family in Las Vegas. While in his teens, he became a member of an R&B band and began to write songs. His initial success came as the writer of, “That Girl,” recorded by R&B artist Marques Houston in 2002, leading to new songs for such stars as Mary J. Blige, Faith Evans and Musiq. The 2004 composition, “Let Me Love You,” a #1 hit for vocalist Mario, propelled Ne-Yo into a recording contract with the Def Jam label. His debut album, In My Own Words, issued in 2006, went to #1 and contained the smash hits “So Sick” and “Sexy Love.” Three subsequent albums for Def Jam were best-sellers, containing such hit singles as “Because of You,” “Closer,” “Mad” and “Miss Independent.” His work also resulted in three Grammy Awards. In addition, the Songwriters Hall of Fame honored Ne-Yo in 2013 with its prestigious Hal David Starlight Award. Ne-Yo’s most recent album, R.E.D. (Realizing Every Dream), was issued last year as part of a new deal on Compound/Motown Records and features the hit singles, “Let Me Love You (Until You Learn to Love Yourself),” co-written with Sia, and “Lazy Love.” Ne-Yo’s arrangement with Motown also includes a position as Senior Vice President of A&R.

Ne-Yo has starred in three major motion pictures – Stomp the Yard, Red Tails and Battle: Los Angeles and has been featured on TV in guest-starring roles. He also appeared in the tribute to Kennedy Center Honors recipient Barbra Streisand in 2008, singing and dancing to the song, “Lover Come Back to Me.” Ne-Yo frequently collaborates with other artists, recording with Pitbull & Nayer, and New Kids on the Block. He has written songs for such stars as Beyoncé and Jennifer Hudson, and has worked frequently with the Stargate songwriting and production duo, Mikkel Eriksen and Tor Erik Hermansen. Most recently, Ne-Yo recorded a duet with Céline Dion of the song, “Incredible” (co-written by Ne-Yo) for her new album, Loved Me Back to Life.

Despite his enormous success, Ne-Yo has remained mindful of those less fortunate. He and his business partner, Reynell Hay, established The Compound Foundation in 2007 to enhance the well-being of youth growing up in foster care and group homes. The Foundation’s goal is to support bright futures for young people by helping them to forge healthy relationships, pursue education and training, learn entrepreneurship basics and realize their dreams.

The 18th annual ASCAP Foundation Awards also honored a wide variety of scholarship and award recipients, all of whom benefit from programs of The ASCAP Foundation. Tony Award-winning lyricist and director of Annie Martin Charnin received the inaugural ASCAP Foundation George M. Cohan Award, made possible by the Friars Foundation. The award is presented to a multi-talented individual connected to the music industry who’s had a multi-faceted career and has achieved success in a variety of roles, including, but not limited to, composing, performing, writing, directing and producing.

About The ASCAP Foundation

Founded in 1975, The ASCAP Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to supporting American music creators and encouraging their development through music education and talent development programs. Included in these are songwriting workshops, grants, scholarships, awards, recognition and community outreach programs for songwriters, composers and lyricists. The ASCAP Foundation is supported by contributions from ASCAP members and from music lovers throughout the United States.

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Media Contact:
Jim Steinblatt


Champion Award


George M. Cohan Award made possible by the Friars Foundation

Martin Charnin

Harold Adamson Lyric Award

Tyler Lyle – Pop

Sam Willmott - Musical Theatre

Robert Allen Award

Ryan Amador

Herb Alpert Young Jazz ComposerAward

Camille Thurman

Harold Arlen Award

Amie Doherty – Film & TV

Louis Armstrong Scholarshi at Queens College

Sooyoung Chin

Louis Armstrong Scholarship Honoring W.C. Handy

Labrea Pringle

Louis Armstrong Scholarship at the University of New Orleans

Gregory Agid

“Reach Out and Touch” Award in honor of Nick Ashford

Charisa the ViolinDiva

Belmont University Songwriting Scholarship

Alysa Vanderheym

Charlotte Bergen Scholarship

Michael Dean Parsons

Irving Berlin Summer Camp Scholarship

Noah Diggs

Leonard Bernstein Award

Amy Beth Kirsten

Freddy Bienstock Scholarship & Internship

Suzanne Rollins

Boosey & Hawkes Young Composer Award Honoring Aaron Copland

Samuel Stites

Leon Brettler Award

Kris Hitchcock

Irving Burgie Scholarship

Khiyon Hursey

Irving Caesar Scholarships

Gordan Lam, Brooklyn Stafford

Sammy Cahn Award

Sandy Emory Lawrence

Eunice & Hal David Merit Award

Lilliana Villines

Los Angeles County High School for the Arts

Fran Morgenstern Davis Scholarship

Andrew Karboski, Julia Suriano

John Denver Music Scholarships Supported by BMG Chrysalis

Ike Fortner, Noah Gaynor, Jasminn Johnson, Ayla Sullivan

Film Scoring Scholarship at Berklee College of Music

Ran Gil

Jamie deRoy & friends Award

David Buskin

Louis Dreyfus Warner/Chappell City College Scholarship Honoring George & Ira Gershwin

Octavia Romano

Max Dreyfus Scholarship

Bob Kelly

Ira Gershwin Scholarship

Sam Zagnit

Jay Gorney Award

Cheryl DaVeiga, Anthony Krizan

Phoebe Jacobs Prize

Camille Thurman

Mary Rodgers Lorenz Hart Award

Kellen Blair, Joe Kinosian

Bart Howard Songwriting Scholarship at The Berklee School of Music

Hillary Paige Lacombe

BMG Chrysalis Scholarship in honor of Quincy Jones

Ryan Fausette

Leo Kaplan Award Morton Gould Young Composer Award

Sky Macklay

Steve Kaplan TV & Film Studies Award

Vicente Ortiz Gimeno

Michelle & Dean Kay Award

Jay Vice

Leiber & Stoller Music Scholarship

Alexis Hatch

Life in Music Award

Ray Charles

Composition Scholarship in honor of Tania León

Francisco Cortés-Álvarez

Frederick Loewe Scholarship

Ana Garcia

Barbara & John LoFrumento Award

Joe Ginnane

Music Conservatory of Westchester Music Therapy Institute, Eastchester School District

Henry Mancini Music Fellowship

Francis Rodríguez

Johnny Mandell Prize

Zac Zinger

Vic Mizzy Scholarship

Yea-kyung Chung

Rudolf Nissim Prize

Michaela Eremiášová

Cole Porter Award

Benjamin Scheuer

Louis Prima Award

Jeffery Miller

Jerry Ragovoy Award

April Bender

Joe Raposo Children’s Music Award

Lori Henriques

Joan & Irwin Robinson Scholarship

Brittany Holloway

Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award

Dave Malloy

Betty Rose Scholarship

Aidan Rowe

David Rose Award

Erik Aho

Jimmy Van Heusen Award

Joe Twist

Mariana & Paul Williams Sunlight of the Spirit Award

Adam Gerver

Lucille & Jack Yellen Award

Jason Rhyne