June 24, 2008 07:00 ET

ASCAP'S 21ST Annual Rhythm & Soul Music Awards Honor Top Songwriters and Publishers of 2007

New Edition Receives ASCAP Golden Note Award

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - June 24, 2008) - Over 600 songwriters, recording artists and music industry leaders gathered at the 21st Annual ASCAP Rhythm and Soul Music Awards, held June 23 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, CA, to salute the top songwriters and publishers behind the most popular music of 2007. Grammy Award-winning songwriter Johntá Austin hosted the all-star gathering, which included special guest presenters MC Lyte, Ne-Yo and T-Boz, plus live performances by some of today's hottest stars and emerging artists, including Marsha Ambrosius (Aftermath), Brutha (Def Jam), Raheem DeVaughn (Jive), The Dream (Def Jam), Flo-Rida (Poe Boy/Atlantic), J. Holiday (Capitol), Krave (Upfront/Interscope), Jacob Latimore (Crown World Entertainment), Karina Pasian (Def Jam), Shawty Lo (D4L/Asylum) and Tank (Blackground).

Top awards were handed out to:

--  Songwriter of the Year:  Timbaland
--  Publisher of the Year:  EMI Music Publishing
--  Ringtone of the Year:  "This is Why I'm Hot"
--  R&B/Hip-Hop Song of the Year:  "Lost Without U"
--  Rap Song of the Year:  "Make Me Better"
--  Gospel Song of the Year:  "Blessed & Highly Favored"

A special highlight of the evening was the presentation of the prestigious ASCAP Golden Note Award to the six members of New Edition. Celebrating their 25th anniversary as recording artists, Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, Bobby Brown, Ralph Tresvant, Ronnie DeVoe and Johnny Gill were honored in recognition of their innovative and enduring contributions to 'Rhythm & Soul' music, which have earned them an extraordinary place in American popular music. Following a video tribute highlighting the career of the platinum hit makers, writer/producer Maurice Starr and ASCAP CEO John LoFrumento presented awards to each member of the group. Previous recipients of the ASCAP Golden Note Award include Lionel Richie, Tom Petty, Stevie Wonder, Jermaine Dupri, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Jay-Z, Quincy Jones, LL Cool J and Steve Miller.

ASCAP's highly competitive and coveted Songwriter of the Year award went to Timbaland in recognition of the songs "Ice Box" (Omarion), "Make Me Better" (Fabolous featuring Ne-Yo), "My Love" (Justin Timberlake featuring T.I.) and "Until the End of Time" (Justin Timberlake with Beyoncé). This is the third time that Timbaland has won this award, and closely follows his Songwriter of the Year victory at this year's ASCAP Pop Music Awards for co-writing nine of the top ASCAP Pop songs of 2007.

EMI Music Publishing was named Publisher of the Year for their 17 award-winning songs. This is the 14th consecutive win for EMI and the 16th time in the 21-year history of the awards show that they have received this honor.

"This is Why I'm Hot" claimed the award for Ringtone of the Year, and was also recognized in both the R&B/Hip-Hop and Rap categories. The song was co-written by Darryl "DMC" McDaniels, Havoc, Danny "Styles" Schofield, Thomas "Tommy Gunz" Simons, Winston "Blackout" Thomas and Charles "Keak Da Sneak" Williams. Performed by Mims, the single debuted at number one on Billboard's Hot Digital Songs chart, reached #2 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, and took the #1 spot on the Hot Rap Tracks chart.

The Top R&B/Hip-Hop Song was "Lost Without U." Co-written by Sean Hurley and Robin Thicke, and performed by Thicke, the song simultaneously topped Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay and Adult R&B Airplay charts.

"Make Me Better," co-written by Timbaland and Fabolous, was named Top Rap Song and also earned an award in the R&B/Hip-Hop category. The song reached #1 on Billboard's Hot Rap Tracks chart and earned Timbaland a Grammy nomination for Producer of the Year.

The Top Gospel Song was "Blessed & Highly Favored." The song earned writer Karen Clark-Sheard and performers The Clark Sisters two Grammys at this year's 50th Annual Grammy Awards for Best Gospel Song and Best Gospel Performance, respectively.

Among the songwriters with multiple award-winning songs were: Timbaland with four; Keri Hilson with three; and Johntá Austin, Ivan Barias, Beyoncé, Jermaine "JD" Dupri, Mikkel Eriksen, Carvin Haggins, Tor Hermansen, Ronnie "Lil Ronnie" Jackson, The Dream and Justin Timberlake with two each.

Honorees and notables in attendance included: New Edition, Maurice Starr, Johntá Austin, MC Lyte, Ne-Yo, T-Boz, Akon, Kerry "Krucial" Brothers, Karen Clark-Sheard, Drumma Boy, Torence "Lil Boosie" Hatch, Keri Hilson, Ronnie "Lil Ronnie" Jackson, Ludacris, Midi Mafia, Musiq Soulchild, Kelly Price, Stargate, Tricky Stewart, Tank, Webbie, Verdine White, Marsha Ambrosius, Brutha, Raheem DeVaughn, Flo-Rida, J. Holiday, Krave, Jacob Latimore, Karina Pasian, Shawty Lo, The Dream, Clarence Avant, Timothy "Attitude" Clayton, Crime Mob, Ron Fair, Fantasia, Kenny Lattimore, Lil' Kim, Kevin Liles, Chante Moore, Eddie Murphy, Polow Da Don, Sylvia Rhone, Rhymefest, Rick Rock, Jordin Sparks, Shakir Stewart, Al B. Sure, The Pussycat Dolls' Melody Thornton, Yolanda "Yo-Yo" Whitaker and Chaka Zulu, among others.

The complete list of winners is available at


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 320,000 songwriter, composer and music publisher members. ASCAP has representation arrangements with over 90 similar foreign 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 PRO owned and governed by its writer and publisher members.