The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) hosted its 26th annual Rhythm & Soul Music Awards tonight at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, CA. The star-studded event, which was attended by hundreds of songwriters, recording artists and music industry leaders, paid special tribute to Usher and Kendrick Lamar, and honored the songwriters and publishers of the most performed ASCAP songs on the 2012 R&B/Hip-Hop, Rap and Gospel charts.
The evening featured performances by gospel singer-songwriters Jason Nelson and Isaac Carree, R&B songstress Elle Varner and rapper Problem, and was attended by some of the top names in the music and entertainment industry, including Sean “Diddy” Combs, Dr. Dre, 2 Chainz, Noah “40” Shebib, Ne-Yo, Kandi Burruss, Tyrese Gibson, Michelle Williams, Jermaine Dupri, Bridget Kelly, Melanie Fiona, Rock City, Stacy Barthe, Eric Bellinger, Lonny Bereal, Da Internz, Drumma Boy, S1, Rock City, No I.D., Tony, Toni Tone, among many others.
Top awards were handed out to:
Songwriters of the Year: Ty “2 Chainz“ Epps, Noah “40” Shebib
Publisher of the Year: Sony/ATV Tunes LLC
Top R&B/Hip-Hop Song: “Love On Top” written by BeyoncÃ© Gisselle Knowles, Terius “The Dream” Nash, Shea Taylor
Top Rap Song: “The Motto” written by Noah “40 Shebib”
Top Gospel Song: “Let the Church Say Amen” written by AndraÃ© Crouch
One of the evening’s highlights was when prolific singer-songwriter Usher was honored with the ASCAP Golden Note Award, which was co-presented to the eight-time Grammy Award winner by ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams, rapper-producer Sean “Diddy” Combs, record producer L.A. Reid and rhythm & soul legend Terry Lewis. The Golden Note Award is given to songwriters, composers and artists who have achieved extraordinary career milestones. Past recipients include Mary Mary, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Jermaine Dupri, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Alicia Keys, Jay-Z, Quincy Jones, LL Cool J, New Edition, Lionel Richie and Pharrell Williams.
Genre-defining rapper-songwriter Kendrick Lamar was honored with the ASCAP Vanguard Award. ASCAP Vice President of Membership, Rhythm & Soul Nicole George-Middleton and rapper-producer Dr. Dre co-presented the award to the Top Dawg Entertainment rapper-songwriter. The ASCAP Vanguard Award recognizes the impact of musical genres that help shape the future of American music. Past ASCAP Vanguard Award honorees include Beastie Boys, Taio Cruz, Diplo, Janelle MonÃ¡e and Santigold.
Songwriter of the Year awards were presented to hip-hop recording artist Ty “2 Chainz“ Epps and Canadian producer Noah “40” Shebib, who each penned four of the most performed songs of the past year. 2 Chainz was honored for “Bandz a Make Her Dance” (by Juicy J featuring Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz), “Beez In the Trap” (by Nicki Minaj featuring 2 Chainz), “Mercy” (by Kanye West, Big Sean, Pusha T and 2 Chainz) and “No Lie” (by 2 Chainz featuring Drake). 40 was honored for “Crew Love” (by Drake featuring The Weeknd), “Make Me Proud” (by Drake featuring Nicki Minaj), “The Motto” (by Drake featuring Lil Wayne) and “Take Care” (by Drake featuring Rihanna).
The ASCAP Publisher of the Year award went to Sony/ATV Tunes LLC, which was honored for 20 award-winning songs. ASCAP CEO John LoFrumento and Nicole George-Middleton presented the award to Sony/ATV Co-President Jody Gerson and her creative team.
Top Song Awards went to BeyoncÃ©’s “Love On Top” written by BeyoncÃ© Gisselle Knowles, Terius “The-Dream” Nash and Shea Taylor, which was named Top R&B/Hip-Hop Song; “The Motto” by Drake featuring Lil Wayne, which earned writer Noah “40” Shebib the Top Rap Song award; and AndraÃ© Crouch’s “Let the Church Say Amen,” which was written by Crouch and named Top Gospel Song.