SOURCE: The ASCAP Foundation

October 19, 2007 14:35 ET

John Mellencamp to Be Recognized With The ASCAP Foundation Champion Award "For Music in the Service of Humanity"

Honor to Be Presented at Manhattan Event on December 12, 2007

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - October 19, 2007) - Marilyn Bergman, President of The ASCAP Foundation, today announced that superstar singer-songwriter-recording artist John Mellencamp will be presented with The ASCAP Foundation Champion Award for music in the service of humanity on Wednesday, December 12, 2007 in New York. The presentation will highlight the eleventh annual ASCAP Foundation Awards Reception to be held at The Allen Room, Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center in Manhattan. The invitation-only event will honor a wide variety of Scholarship and Award recipients, all of whom benefit from programs of The ASCAP Foundation.

John Mellencamp has a long and distinguished record as a social activist and humanitarian. Together with Willie Nelson and Neil Young, he organized the first Farm Aid concert in 1985 to raise awareness about the loss of family farms and to raise funds to keep farm families on their land. Farm Aid stages America's longest running annual concert event that unites farmers, artists, consumers, and concerned citizens to build a powerful movement for good food from family farms. Farm Aid has raised more than $30 million to promote a strong and resilient family farm system of agriculture.

In addition, Mellencamp has long worked for peace and social justice through his songs and personal appearances, including his participation in the 2004 multi-artist "Vote for Change" Tour. Social awareness has been a hallmark of Mellencamp song lyrics since the 1985 album, "Rain on the Scarecrow," which featured the hits "Small Town" and the title track. More recently, Mellencamp's 2007 release, "Freedom's Road," included the songs "Jim Crow," "Ghost Towns Along the Highway" and "Our Country." This past April, Mellencamp poignantly demonstrated his support for the men and women in uniform (in spite of his opposition to the war) by performing a concert for 200 wounded veterans and their families at Washington's Walter Reed Hospital. And in October 2007, Mellencamp released the topical song, "Jena," in response to the racially charged situation in that Louisiana town. Mellencamp was recognized with the Woody Guthrie Award in 2003 by the Huntington's Disease Society of America.

Commenting on the award, ASCAP Foundation President Marilyn Bergman said, "John Mellencamp has always been known as a 'people's artist,' a performer who touches a common chord across class, age and regional lines. In helping to establish Farm Aid, he was instrumental in bringing awareness of the plight of small farmers to wide attention. His fearless advocacy on issues ranging from peace to racial prejudice is to be applauded. For these reasons and more, we are proud to present John with the ASCAP Foundation Champion Award for music in the service of humanity."

Founded in 1975, The ASCAP Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to supporting American music creators and encouraging their development through music education and talent development programs. Included in these are songwriting workshops, grants, scholarships, awards, recognition and community outreach programs, and public service projects for senior composers and lyricists. The ASCAP Foundation is supported by contributions from ASCAP members and from music lovers throughout the United States. www.ascapfoundation.org