April 23, 2009 08:00 ET

ASCAP Celebrates Pop Music Hitmakers at Star-Studded Event in Hollywood

Top Awards Presented to Stargate's Mikkel Eriksen & Tor Hermansen, Jesse McCartney, Ryan Tedder, EMI and Sony/ATV

Ann & Nancy Wilson of Heart, Wyclef Jean and Santigold Receive Special Honors

Stacy "Fergie" Ferguson; Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald; Terius "The Dream" Nash; Christopher "Tricky" Stewart Collect Multiple Awards

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - April 23, 2009) - More than 600 songwriters, recording artists, industry leaders and members of the music community gathered at the 26th Annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards on Wednesday, April 22nd at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel in Hollywood, California to salute the songwriters and publishers behind some of today's most popular music.

Top awards were given to:

--  Songwriter of the Year:  Stargate's Mikkel Eriksen & Tor Hermansen
--  Song of the Year:  "Bleeding Love," written by Jesse McCartney and
    Ryan Tedder
--  Publisher of the Year (tie):  EMI Music Publishing and Sony/ATV Music

Special awards were presented to Ann & Nancy Wilson of Heart who were honored with the ASCAP Founders Award; Wyclef Jean who received the ASCAP Creative Voice Award; and Santigold who received ASCAP's Vanguard Award. Awards were also presented to the songwriters and publishers of ASCAP's most performed pop songs of 2008.

ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams and ASCAP CEO John A. LoFrumento presented Norwegian songwriters/producers Mikkel Eriksen and Tor Hermansen with ASCAP's Songwriter of the Year award. Collectively known as Stargate, the duo was responsible for penning an impressive six of the most performed songs of the past year: Chris Brown's "With You," Ne-Yo's "Closer" and "Miss Independent," Rihanna's "Don't Stop the Music" and "Take a Bow," and Jordin Sparks's "Tattoo." This is the second time that Stargate has been named Songwriters of the Year -- the hit-making duo picked up the coveted prize at the 2007 ASCAP Awards in London after taking the charts by storm with a string of hits, including the Billboard #1 "So Sick" by Ne-Yo.

The sought-after Song of the Year award went to Jesse McCartney and Ryan Tedder for the Grammy-nominated song "Bleeding Love," performed by British singer Leona Lewis. McCartney and Tedder were on hand to accept their awards, and Tedder along with OneRepublic bandmates also collected Pop Awards for "Apologize" and "Stop and Stare."

The Top 5 most performed songs of 2008 (in alpha order) were:

--  "Apologize," written by Ryan Tedder
--  "Bleeding Love," written by Jesse McCartney and Ryan Tedder
--  "Love Song," written by Sara Bareilles
--  "Low," written by Flo-Rida
--  "No One," written by Kerry "Krucial" Brothers, DJ Dirty Harry and
    Alicia Keys

ASCAP Publisher of the Year honors went to both EMI Music Publishing and Sony/ATV Music Publishing, who tied with 20 award-winning songs each. ASCAP CEO John A. LoFrumento and Chairman of Paramount Allegra Music and ASCAP Board Member Irwin Z. Robinson presented the awards to Roger Faxon, Chairman and CEO of EMI Music Publishing and Martin Bandier, Chairman and CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing and their creative teams.

Jerry Cantrell of the influential band Alice in Chains and ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams presented Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart with ASCAP's Founders Award. During their extraordinary 35-year career, Heart have sold more than 30 million records, had 21 Top 40 hits, sold out arenas worldwide and kicked down barriers that once held back women in Rock & Roll. The group will be hitting the studio this year to record what will be its 14th album, and is gearing up to mark the 30th anniversary of its classic multi-platinum album "Dog & Butterfly" with special events and celebrations.

The ASCAP Founders Award is among the most prestigious honors that ASCAP gives to songwriters who have made pioneering contributions to music by inspiring and influencing their fellow music creators. Each recipient is a musical innovator who possesses a unique style of songwriting genius that will enrich generations to come. Past recipients include Jackson Browne, Elvis Costello, Melissa Etheridge, Annie Lennox, Joni Mitchell, Steely Dan, James Taylor, Tom Waits and Neil Young, to name a few.

ASCAP Senior Vice President Domestic Membership Randall Grimmett presented Wyclef Jean with ASCAP's Creative Voice Award, which 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. Wyclef's work, both as a humanitarian and as a musician, has had an incredibly positive impact on people all over the world. As a songwriter, musician and producer, a solo artist and as a member of the Fugees, he has earned multiple Grammy Awards as well as countless Top 10 albums and singles. His seventh solo LP, "To Sir With Love," will be released this fall. As a dedicated humanitarian, Wyclef founded Yéle Haiti in 2005 to provide aid and assistance to his native country of Haiti.

Past recipients of ASCAP's Creative Voice Award are Metallica and Green Day, who received this honor in 2004 and 2006, respectively.

Downtown Music Publishing artist Santi White (aka Santigold) was honored with ASCAP's Vanguard Award, which recognizes 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.

The awards celebration featured several performances throughout the evening, including those by special honorees Ann & Nancy Wilson and Wyclef Jean. New ASCAP member Natasha Bedingfield performed two songs, including "Pocketful of Sunshine" which earned her co-writer John Shanks a Pop Award. Jesse McCartney sang his hit "Leavin'," which was penned by Corron Cole, Terius "The Dream" Nash and Christopher "Tricky" Stewart. OneRepublic performed their Pop Award-winning hits "Apologize" and "Stop and Stare;" and Jason Reeves and Mikal Blue were on stage to sing their award-winner, "Realize" (a hit for Colbie Caillat) with songwriter and "American Idol" judge Kara DioGuardi, who signed Reeves to Warner Bros. Records.

Many of the evening's winning songwriters were on hand to collect their awards, including multiple winners Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald who received four awards; Terius "The Dream" Nash, Christopher "Tricky" Stewart and Ryan Tedder who collected three awards each; Kerry "Krucial" Brothers, Stacy "Fergie" Ferguson, Andre Merritt, Jason Reeves, and Brian Kennedy Seals who won two awards each; and Quincy Jones for "Good Life;" Kardinal Offishall for "Dangerous;" Johntá Austin for "With You;" and Webbie for "Independent."

The complete list of winners is available at

Honorees, performers and notables in attendance were: Ann & Nancy Wilson of Heart; Wyclef Jean; Quincy Jones; Santigold; Fergie; Ryan Tedder; Jesse McCartney; Mikkel Eriksen & Tor Hermansen (Stargate); Natasha Bedingfield; Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald; Terius "The Dream" Nash; Christopher "Tricky" Stewart; Kerry "Krucial" Brothers; OneRepublic; Jason Reeves; Kara DioGuardi; Johntá Austin; Just Blaze; Mikal Blue; Desmond Child; Cri$tyle; DJ Dirty Harry; Estelle; Ron Fair, Chairman of Geffen Records; Toby Gad; Lil' Kim; LeRoy P. Marinell; Harvey Mason Jr.; Christina Milian; Colby O'Donis; Kardinal Offishall; Neil Portnow, President of the Recording Academy; John Shanks; Damon Thomas; Waddy Wachtel; Webbie; and many others.

The 26th Annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards is part of an entire week of events planned by ASCAP to celebrate the voice of the music creator.


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.