ASCAP Celebrates Black History Month With Campaign Honoring Distinguished Black Songwriters, Composers, Innovators and Icons

February 1, 2021

Month-Long Promotion Features Dedicated Webpage, In-Depth Editorial, Social Media Content, Genre-Spanning Playlists and ASCAP’s 107th Birthday


NEW YORK, Feb. 1, 2021 – The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) has unveiled plans for an upcoming Black History Month campaign that will pay homage to a wide array of Black artists, songwriters, composers and their invaluable contributions to music, ASCAP and the world at large. Kicking off February 1, the month-long campaign will feature a dedicated webpage at spotlighting a different group of Black change-makers each week, with in-depth editorial pieces, daily social media posts featuring honorees or historical events, a playlist of Black music pioneers of all musical genres and the celebration of ASCAP’s 107th birthday.


“ASCAP is passionate about recognizing the contributions of Black songwriters and composers who have created music that has made an impact on our culture and the world,” said Nicole George-Middleton, ASCAP Senior Vice President, Membership. “During this month especially, it is our mission to shine the spotlight on ASCAP member pioneers, innovators and icons who have changed history, shaped music as we know it and given us the songs we love so much.”


See below for ASCAP’s Black History Month campaign and weekly themes:


Week 1 (February 1 - 7) – Black Pioneers in Music

ASCAP will launch a Black History Month webpage that will be updated with new content throughout the month. Along with a curated playlist celebrating Black Pioneers in Music of every genre, in week 1 ASCAP will spotlight the legacies of members including Quincy Jones (film/TV, pop, R&B), Charley Pride (country), Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five (hip-hop), Eubie Blake & Noble Sissle (musical theatre), Duke Ellington (jazz), Sister Rosetta Tharpe (gospel/rock) and Florence Price (classical).


Week 2 (February 8 - 14) – Black Musicians and Important Black Moments in ASCAP History

The second week of Black History Month coincides with ASCAP’s 107th birthday on February 13. Founded in part by poet, author, lyricist and civil rights activist, James Weldon Johnson (“Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing”), ASCAP will highlight Johnson’s story, as well as special moments from the organization’s history such as the first ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards (originally known as the “Black Music Celebration”). ASCAP will also publish an editorial feature summarizing the organization’s shout outs in hip-hop tracks over the years by artists including Timbaland, Gucci Mane, Wale, Blackalicious, Ma$e, Ice T, Nelly and more.


Week 3 (February 15 - 21) – Iconic ASCAP Members in Black History

ASCAP will highlight members of the organization who played key roles in important political, social and cultural movements that have had resounding effects on society. Distinguished ASCAP members who will be recognized include Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bob Marley.


Week 4 (February 22 - 28)– ASCAP Members Making History Today

ASCAP members that are breaking barriers and records and creating some of the most compelling works across the musical spectrum today will be featured.


For more information, visit and follow along on social media, @ASCAPUrban on IG and @ASCAP on Facebook.


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.




Michelle Huff Elliott|Simone Smalls

Strategic Heights Media