SOURCE: ASCAP

February 26, 2007 14:00 ET

ASCAP to Honor Franco De Vita at 15th Annual Latin Music Awards on March 21 in New York

Alejandra Guzmán, Alejandro Lerner, Camila, Mario Domm, Mariachi Real de Mexico, Rakim & Ken-Y, Shaila and Raíces Habaneras Scheduled to Perform; Birmania Rios and Kamar de los Reyes to Host the Star-Studded Event

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- February 26, 2007 -- The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) announced today that Franco De Vita will be honored with the prestigious ASCAP Latin Heritage Award during the 15th Annual ASCAP Latin Music Awards on March 21, 2007 at the Nokia Theatre in New York. Hosted by Kamar de los Reyes of ABC's "One Life to Live" and Birmania Rios of Univision's "Despierta América," the invitation-only gala will honor the songwriters and publishers of ASCAP's most performed songs in Latin Music of 2006. Some of the most celebrated figures in the Latin music scene are scheduled to perform at the event, including Alejandra Guzmán, Alejandro Lerner, Camila, Mario Domm, Mariachi Real de Mexico, Rakim & Ken-Y, Shaila and Raíces Habaneras.

The ASCAP Latin Heritage Award is awarded to songwriters and composers who have made unique and enduring contributions to music. De Vita will join a select list of Latin music icons that have been singled out for special recognition at ASCAP's Latin Music Awards, including Antonio Aguilar, Celia Cruz, José Feliciano, Ednita Nazario, Arturo Sandoval, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Olga Tañón and Ricardo Arjona.

Franco De Vita is one of three children born in Latin America to Italian immigrants. His family returned to Italy when he was three years old and then moved to Venezuela when he was 13. He is considered to be one of Latin music's most consistent popular singer-songwriters, with a style often compared to Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel. He started his music career with a group called Icaro and recorded his first album titled "Fantasía" in 1986. In 1990, "Fantasia" produced the now legendary hit title song "Solo Importas Tu," used as the theme song to the internationally acclaimed Spanish-language soap opera "La Dama De Rosa." His first album as a solo artist titled "Franco De Vita" spun off three Spanish-language hits: "Somos Tres," "No Hay Cielo," and "Un Buen Perdedor." With the Sony label, De Vita released "Al Norte Del Sur," a critical and commercial smash that cemented his reputation as a purveyor of socially conscious and adult-oriented pop, particularly through the tunes "Te Amo" and "Louis." The album "Extranjero" featured the song "No Basta," which spent four weeks at No. 1 on the U.S. Latin charts and won an MTV Video Music Award. "Stop," a production where he collaborated with the pop group Sin Bandera, also reached the Top 10 on the U.S. Latin and Latin America charts.

De Vita has won numerous awards including ASCAP's Latin Song of the Year in 2003 and 2004 for "Y Tú Te Vas" and "Tal Vez," respectively, as well as ASCAP Latin Music awards for "Contra Vientos y Mareas" (2006), "Si La Ves" and "Tú De Qué Vas" (2005), "Un Siglo Sin Ti" (2004) and "Vuelve" (1999). He has released popular albums such as: "En Vivo Marzo 16" (1992); "Voces A Mi Alrededor" (1993); the acoustic-flavored "Fuera De Este Mundo" (1996); the world-beat inspired "Nada Es Igual" (1999); "Segundas Partes Tambien Son Buenas" (2002); an expanded edition of "Stop" titled "Stop + Algo Mas" (2005); and "Mil y Una Historias En Vivo," a two-disc live album that also featured four studio tracks, including collaboration with Alejandro Fernandez and Diego El Cigala, with a DVD version released simultaneously.

In addition to honoring Franco De Vita, ASCAP will recognize the Songwriter of the Year, Publisher of the Year and Song of the Year during the awards ceremony. Awards will also be presented in the following categories: Pop, Tropical, Regional Mexican, Rock, Urban and Television. In the Television category, awards will be presented to the Top Rated Theme for Soap Opera, the Top Rated Theme for TV Variety Program and the newly created Most Performed TV Music Score.

Members of the press may apply for credentials at: http://www.ascap.com/press/pressroom/latinmusicawards/

About ASCAP

Established in 1914, ASCAP is the first and leading U.S. Performing Rights Organization representing the world's largest repertory totaling over 8 million copyrighted musical works of every style and genre from more than 275,000 composer, lyricist and music publisher members. ASCAP has representation arrangements with over 70 music rights organizations such that the ASCAP repertory is represented in nearly every country around the world. 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 Performing Rights Organization owned and governed by its writer and publisher members. www.ascap.com