The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) honored the top writer and publisher members of the PRS – the UK's Performing Right Society – at a ceremony held at The Grosvenor House Hotel in London on Wednesday, October 15, 2008. Hosted by ASCAP Senior Vice President, International Roger Greenaway and Vice President, Membership Seán Devine, the gala dinner and awards presentation honored those writer and publisher members of the PRS whose repertory is licensed by ASCAP and was among its most performed works in the U.S. during 2007.
Among the honorees and special guests in attendance were Annie Lennox, Nickolas Ashford & Valerie Simpson, Sir George and Lady Martin, Randy Bachman, Don Black, Tony Hatch, The Human League's Philip Oakey, New Order's Gillian Gilbert, Bernard Sumner and Stephen Morris, John Beck, Steven Chrisanthou, Julian Gingell, Christopher Gunning, Nick Hooper, Adrian Johnston, Jim Kendrick, Holly Lamar, Dan McGrath, Steve Mack, Paolo Nutini, Josh Philips, Ken Riley, Feargal Sharkey, Barry Stone, Keith Strachan and Matthew Strachan.
Commenting on the evening, Roger Greenaway said: “We’re very pleased to celebrate the achievements of the writer and publisher members of the PRS whose music is represented by ASCAP in the United States. I’m especially pleased to pay tribute to Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson. Their songs have truly stood the test of time. My sincerest congratulations to them and to all of tonight’s honorees.”
Husband and wife songwriting/production team and recording artists Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson highlighted the evening with a special performance. Ashford & Simpson have been writing songs for more than four decades, and scored their first hit in 1966 with Ray Charles' recording of their "Let's Go Get Stoned." They subsequently became staff writers (and producers) for Motown, creating such song classics as "Ain't Nothin' Like the Real Thing," "You're All I Need to Get By," "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and "Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand)," among many others.
As part of ASCAP's ongoing commitment to support emerging music creators, London-based singer/songwriter Kate Nash and Brighton's indie rock outfit The Kooks were honored with special ASCAP awards. Kate Nash received the ASCAP Vanguard Award for her platinum selling debut album, Made of Bricks, and The Kooks was honored with the ASCAP College Award for their multi-platinum selling debut album, Inside In/Inside Out. Previous ASCAP Vanguard Award honorees include Bat For Lashes, The Arcade Fire, Beck, Modest Mouse, the Strokes and Jack Johnson. Previous ASCAP College Award honorees include The View, The Cribs, Keane, Franz Ferdinand, Chemical Brothers, Belle & Sebastian and Radiohead.
The evening's top honors were awarded as follows:
Singer/songwriter Dido was named Songwriter of the Year and was recognized for the songs "Thank You" and "White Flag."
Song of the Year honors went to John Beck and Steve Chrisanthou for Corinne Bailey Rae's "Put Your Records On."
Guy Moot, Managing Director at EMI Music Publishing UK was named Publisher of the Year. This is the fourth time that EMI has received this honor.
Honorees in the Film and TV Theme categories were:
Dario Marianelli (Atonement and The Brave One)
Adrian Johnston (Becoming Jane)
Nick Hooper (Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix)
Christopher Gunning (La Vie En Rose)
Howard Goodall (Mr. Bean’s Holiday)
Jonny Greenwood (There Will Be Blood)
Cathy Dennis, Julian Gingell and Barry Stone (American Idol)
Elizabeth Fraser (House)
Dan McGrath and Josh Philips (Dancing with the Stars)
Keith Strachan and Matthew Strachan (Who Wants to Be a Millionaire)
Academy Award-winning songwriter and 2006 ASCAP Founders Award honoree Annie Lennox collected her eighth ASCAP Award for "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This"), co-written with Dave Stewart. Songwriter Ken Riley picked up an award for "Everlasting God," the first Christian music song to be recognized at the awards ceremony. Songwriters Paulo Nutini, Mathew Benbrook and James Duguid picked up their first ASCAP award for the song "New Shoes." Other honorees included AC/DC's Brian Johnson, Phil Collins, Def Leppard, Gomez, The Human League, Keane's Tim Rice Oxley, Mutt Lange, Paul McCartney, New Order, The Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, U2 and Yusuf Islam.
For more information, including a complete list of winners, go to www.ascap.com.
Established in 1914, ASCAP is the first and leading U.S. Performing Rights Organization (PRO) representing the world's largest repertory totaling over 8.5 million copyrighted musical works of every style and genre from more than 330,000 songwriter, composer and music publisher members. ASCAP has representation arrangements with similar foreign organizations so that the ASCAP repertory is represented in nearly every country around the world where copyright law exists. ASCAP protects the rights of its members and foreign affiliates by licensing the public performances of their copyrighted works and distributing royalties based upon surveyed performances. ASCAP is the only American PRO owned and governed by its writer and publisher members. www.ascap.com