ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) will honor Wyclef Jean and Santigold at its 26th Annual Pop Music Awards, it was announced today by President and Chairman Marilyn Bergman. Wyclef will be presented with ASCAP's Creative Voice Award and Santigold will receive ASCAP's Vanguard Award. These special awards are in addition to the previously announced ASCAP Founders Award presentation to Ann & Nancy Wilson of Heart. The songwriters and publishers of ASCAP’s most performed pop songs of 2008 will also be honored at the invitation-only event, set for April 22, 2009 at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles, CA.
Wyclef and Ann & Nancy Wilson will perform at the awards ceremony.
The ASCAP Creative Voice Award is bestowed upon an ASCAP member or group whose significant career achievements are equally informed by their creative spirit and by their contributions to the role that a creator can play in their community. Metallica and Green Day received this honor in 2004 and 2006, respectively.
"Wyclef is one of this generation's most musically innovative and passionate artists," said Marilyn Bergman. "He is not only a hero to millions of music fans around the world, but to the millions of people he helps through his Yéle Haiti Foundation. The ASCAP Creative Voice Award is an honor he richly deserves."
The ASCAP Vanguard Award is given in recognition of the impact of musical genres that help shape the future of American music. Previous honorees include The All-American Rejects, The Arcade Fire, Sara Bareilles, Beck, Modest Mouse, the Strokes, Built to Spill, the Mars Volta, Joseph Arthur and Jack Johnson.
"Santi is an extremely talented artist," added Ms. Bergman. "Her knowledge of the industry coupled with her skills as a songwriter and performer makes her a force to be reckoned with. We are delighted to honor her with ASCAP's Vanguard Award."
The 26th Annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards is part of "ASCAP I Create Music Week" -- an entire week of events being held in Los Angeles to celebrate the voice of the music creator.
Wyclef Jean is a multiple Grammy-Award winning writer, musician, and producer who effortlessly crosses genres, generations and geographic boundaries with his music. He has racked up countless top 10 albums and singles for both his collaborative and solo works while his talents have led to a myriad of successful projects over the past two decades. With the Fugees, The Score became the #1 top-selling hip-hop album of all time. He wrote and produced Carlos Santana's Supernatural, winning the Grammy for Album of the Year and collaborated with Shakira on "Hips Don't Lie" earning him the #1 Top 40 airplay record of all time. Wyclef, who is also a dedicated humanitarian, founded Yéle Haiti in 2005 to provide aid and assistance to his native country of Haiti. His seventh solo LP, To Sir With Love will be released this fall.
With the eclectic influences of dub, punk and new wave, Downtown Music Publishing artist Santi White (aka Santigold) is stirring up some of the most modern pop music to date. Santigold's self-titled debut album, released in April 2008, exhibits a clear affinity for 80s sensibility and audiences were eager to welcome something recognizable yet somehow different. Catchy in its electronic fortitude, the single "Creator" was an immediate favorite and has already been tapped by the likes of Bud Light for its palatable commercial value. Another ear-grabbing track, "L.E.S. Artistes," features Santigold's melodic hooks and vocal urgency and the catchiest chorus the record contains.
Originally from Philadelphia, White began her career in the music business in New York as an A&R representative for Epic Records, but soon switched to more creative endeavors.
In addition to writing and producing a debut album for Res (How I Do), Santi has written for and collaborated with an array of artists, including Jay-Z, Lily Allen, Mark Ronson and Pharrell Williams.
Santigold is often compared to friend M.I.A. as the two artists are similarly admired for their innovative approach when sourcing various musical genres. Their similarity might also be due to the fact that they have worked with the same producers, Switch and Diplo. Unafraid to deviate, to mix and match established forms, Santigold has managed to create a familiar yet fresh style that has already showcased some of its future promise.
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 350,000 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