The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) hosted the 52nd Annual ASCAP Country Music Awards on Monday, November 3rd in the Grand Ballroom of Nashville’s Music City Center. The writers of country music’s most performed songs of the period between April 2013 and March 2014 were honored before an audience of distinguished Nashville songwriters, top country stars and music industry leaders. Special tribute was paid to Alan Jacksonand songwriter Craig Wiseman, who were each presented with the ASCAP Heritage Award in commemoration of ASCAP’s 100th anniversary.
The evening’s top honors were awarded to the following:
ASCAP Country Music Songwriter of the Year: Ashley Gorley
ASCAP Country Music Song of the Year: “It Goes Like This,” written by Ben Hayslip and Jimmy Robbins; published by Extraordinary Alien, THiS Music, Tar-Cam-Knox Music, Warner/Chappell Music Publishing and Universal Music Publishing; recorded by Thomas Rhett
ASCAP Country Music Publisher of the Year: Warner/Chappell Music Publishing
A total of 45 most-performed song honors were presented, highlighted by special performances from the writers of the top five most performed songs of the year. Performances included “Don’t Ya,” by songwriters Chris DeStefano, Ashley Gorley and Brett Eldredge (recorded by Brett Eldredge); “Crash My Party,” performed by songwriter Ashley Gorley(recorded by Luke Bryan); “Friday Night,” by songwriter and recording artistEric Paslay; Song of the Year “It Goes Like This,” performed by songwritersBen Hayslip, Jimmy Robbins, Rhett Akins and recording artist Thomas Rhett; and “Runnin’ Outta Moonlight”performed by songwriters Ashley Gorley, Kelley Lovelace and Dallas Davidson(recorded by Randy Houser).
The show kicked off with ASCAP songwriter-artist Lee Ann Womack, who performed the song “Send It On Down” from her first studio album in nearly seven years, the critically-acclaimed The Way I’m Livin’.
ASCAP President and Chairman of the Board Paul Williams and special guest presenter Connie Bradley presented theASCAP Heritage Award to Alan Jackson, who earned the title of most-performed country music songwriter-artist of ASCAP’s first 100 years. The honor included a video tribute that highlighted some of Jackson’s career milestones, as well as interview segments with music industry luminaries who were instrumental in launching his career: ASCAP Board member Barry Coburn, former Arista Records head Tim DuBois and longtime producer Keith Stegall.
The ASCAP Heritage Award was also presented to Craig Wiseman, ASCAP’s most-performed country music songwriter of the past century, whose video tribute included heartfelt interviews with Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, Blake Sheltonand more. Longtime Wiseman friend and colleague Chris Oglesby presented the award alongside Williams.
ASCAP’s Michael Martin and LeAnn Phelan, the leaders of ASCAP’s Nashville membership team, presented Ashley Gorley with the ASCAP Country Music Songwriter of the Year award for the second time in his career – he first earned the honor in 2009. Gorley was responsible for penning eight of the most performed songs of 2013, including three of ASCAP’s top five songs of the year: “Crash My Party,” recorded by Luke Bryan; “Don’t Ya,” recorded by Brett Eldredge; and “Runnin Outta Moonlight,” recorded by Randy Houser. Gorley’s additional award-winning songs include “All Over The Road” (Justin Moore), “Aw Naw” (Chris Young), “Hey Girl” (Billy Currington), “Radio” (Darius Rucker) and “That’s My Kind Of Night” (Luke Bryan).
ASCAP Song of the Year honors went to co-writers Ben Hayslip and Jimmy Robbins for “It Goes Like This,” recorded by Thomas Rhett and published by Extraordinary Alien, This Music, Tar-Cam-Knox Music, Warner/Chappell Music Publishing and Universal Music Publishing. The award was also presented by ASCAP Nashville heads Michael Martin and LeAnn Phelan.
This year’s ASCAP Country Music Publisher of the Year honors went toWarner/Chappell Music Publishing,who published nineteen of ASCAP’s 2013 award-winning songs. ASCAP CEO John LoFrumento presented the award to Warner/Chappell, which was accepted by the EVP of Warner/Chappell Nashville,Ben Vaughn, and his Nashville team.
Artists in attendance included Angaleena Presley, Billy Currington, Cassadee Pope, Clare Dunn, Dan + Shay, David Nail, Dierks Bentley, the Doobie Brothers’ Michael McDonald and Patrick Simmons, Drake White, Eric Paslay, Jennifer Nettles, Jerrod Niemann, Joe Nichols, John King, Kelsea Ballerini, Kip Moore, Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood, Love and Theft, Maddie & Tae, Old Dominion, RaeLynn, Rascal Flatts, Sam Hunt, Shannon and Ashley Campbell, The Swon Brothers, Wynonna and more.
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 500,000 members representing more than 9 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. www.ascap.com