Steve Mac, Max Martin, Starrah and Drew Taggart Tie as 2018 ASCAP Pop Music Songwriter of the Year; “Shape Of You” is Song of the Year at 35th Annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards

April 24, 2018

Desmond Child Honored with ASCAP Founders Award; 
Lana Del Rey Receives ASCAP Global Impact Award;
Portugal. The Man Accepts ASCAP Vanguard Award;
Universal Music Publishing is Publisher of the Year;
BMG is Independent Publisher of the Year

LOS ANGELES, April 23, 2018 -- ASCAP, the American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers, hosted its 35th Annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards on Monday, April 23, recognizing four impressive songwriting talents with a 2018 ASCAP Pop Music Songwriter of the Year award, each for their individual achievement in crafting some of the most popular songs of 2017. Steve Mac won for “Shape of You” (Ed Sheeran), “Strip That Down” (Liam Payne ft. Quavo), “Rockabye” (Clean Bandit ft. Sean Paul) and “What About Us” (P!nk); Max Martin, receiving the award for an unprecedented 11th time, for “Side To Side” (Ariana Grande), “Can't Stop The Feeling!” (Justin Timberlake), ”Send My Love” (Adele) and “Just Like Fire” (P!nk); Starrah for “Now or Never” (Halsey), “Fake Love” (Drake), “What Lovers Do” (Maroon 5 ft. SZA) and “Havana” (Camila Cabello); and Drew Taggart for “1-800-273-8255” (Logic ft. Alessia Cara and Khalid) in addition to three hits by his band, The Chainsmokers: “Something Just Like This” (ft. Coldplay), “Closer” (ft. Halsey) and “Paris.” ASCAP President and award-winning songwriter Paul Williams presented the awards.

The event took place at the historic Beverly Hilton Hotel in front of a packed audience of songwriters, composers, producers and music industry executives. A special spotlight was on ASCAP Founders Award winner Desmond Child, who has written indelible hits over five decades like “Livin’ on a Prayer,” “I Was Made for Lovin’ You,” “Livin’ La Vida Loca” and, more recently in 2015, “Beautiful Now” by Zedd. Rock icons Alice Cooper and Paul Stanley of KISS helped pay tribute to Child. Cooper delivered a hard-hitting performance of their hit, “Poison,” while Stanley bestowed the award onstage to Child, who was also honored with a medley of his hits by singer Justin Benlolo. The ASCAP Founders Award is presented to ASCAP songwriters who have made exceptional contributions to music by inspiring and influencing their fellow music creators, and adds Child to the ranks of such past recipients as Jackson Browne, Elvis Costello, Billy Joel, Gene Simmons & Paul Stanley (KISS), Annie Lennox, Sir Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell, Tom Petty, Smokey Robinson, Carly Simon, Patti Smith, Steven Tyler & Joe Perry (Aerosmith), Tom Waits, Diane Warren, Ann & Nancy Wilson (Heart), Stevie Wonder and Neil Young.

Song of the Year went to “Shape of You,” co-written by Steve Mac, Kandi Burrus and Tameka Harris. Top Streamed Song went to “Despacito,” co-written by ASCAP members Justin Bieber, Jason “Poo Bear” Boyd and Daddy Yankee. Songwriters Madison Emiko Love and Tony Scalzo, with guitarist Joe Khajadourian of the Futuristics, also performed their winning song, “Bad Things.”

ASCAP also presented special honors to two multi-platinum songwriters, each with their own brand of chart-topping achievements: Lana Del Rey received the ASCAP Global Impact Award and Portugal.The Man received the ASCAP Vanguard Award.

Lana Del Rey is a multi-platinum, three-time Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter, known for her stylized, cinematic music with references to 1950s and 1960s Americana. Del Rey’s fifth studio album, Lust For Life, was released on July 21st and debuted atop the Billboard 200 last summer. It became her second to reach #1 in the US while also reaching the top ten in almost every other country it charted in. She was honored by indie rock favorite Father John Misty, who presented the award and performed Del Rey’s “Ride.” The ASCAP Global Impact Award recognizes the enduring worldwide popularity of ASCAP members and their music.

Fresh off two killer performances at Coachella, Portugal. The Man received ASCAP’s highly regarded Vanguard Award in recognition of  their impact on the future of American music. After ASCAP Vice-President, Membership, Pop/Rock Marc Emert-Hutner lauded their 10-year history as a band, their “persistence” and “creative bravery,” the band delivered a euphoric version of their Grammy-winning 2017 breakout hit, “Feel It Still.” The Vanguard Award has previously gone to artists including Arcade Fire, Band of Horses, Beastie Boys, Beck, Björk, Sara Bareilles, Diplo, fun., Jack Johnson, The Killers, Kendrick Lamar, Modest Mouse, The Strokes, St. Vincent and Walk the Moon.

Publisher of the Year went to Universal Music Publishing Group for their role in 22 hits of 2017 including “Shape Of You” (Ed Sheeran), “That's What I Like” (Bruno Mars) and “Can't Stop The Feeling!” (Justin Timberlake). UMPG Chairman and Chief Executive officer Jody Gerson accepted the award from ASCAP Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Matthews.

BMG took Independent Publisher of the Year in recognition of seven hits over the past year including “Let Me Love You” (DJ Snake and Justin Bieber), “Despacito” (Justin Bieber) and “I'm The One” (DJ Khaled, Quavo, Justin Bieber, Chance the Rapper, Lil Wayne). BMG U.S. President Zach Katz accepted the award from ASCAP’s Matthews.

Photos, video and a complete list of winners can be found on the ASCAP website:

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 more than 800,000 members representing more than 16 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. Learn more and stay in touch at, on Twitter and Instagram @ASCAP and on Facebook.

# # #


Bobbi Marcus PR & Events, Inc.
O: 310-889-9200
C: 818-430-8926

Cathy Nevins – ASCAP