April 28, 2016 00:30 ET

John Mellencamp, Walk the Moon and Max Martin Receive Top Honors at 33rd Annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards

Martin Sets Record, Winning Songwriter of the Year for 9th Time

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwired - April 28, 2016) - ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, hosted its 33rd Annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards on Wednesday, April 27, presenting its prestigious Founders Award to acclaimed songwriter, performer and artist, John Mellencamp. ASCAP also bestowed its Vanguard Award upon chart-topping pop group, Walk the Moon, and presented its Songwriter of the Year Award to Max Martin for the ninth time, an ASCAP record. The event took place at the Dolby Ballroom at the Hollywood & Highland Center in Los Angeles in front of a packed audience of songwriters, composers, producers and music industry executives.

Mellencamp, known for his rootsy, profound American rock and social activism, received the ASCAP Founders Award from talk show host, author and philanthropist Tavis Smiley and performed his song, "Longest Days." The Founders Award is ASCAP's highest honor and goes to pioneering ASCAP songwriters who have made exceptional contributions to music by inspiring and influencing their fellow music creators. Previous Founders Award recipients include Elvis Costello, Billy Joel, Annie Lennox, Sir Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell, Tom Petty, Gene Simmons & Paul Stanley (KISS), Carly Simon, Patti Smith, Steely Dan, Rod Stewart, James Taylor, Steven Tyler & Joe Perry (Aerosmith), Tom Waits and Neil Young.

Songwriter of the Year went to pop mastermind Max Martin. This gives Martin an unprecedented nine ASCAP Songwriter of the Year honors, breaking the record previously held by Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis. Martin lent his experienced hand to nine ASCAP pop hits this year, including "Blank Space" and "Style" (Taylor Swift), "Love Me Like You Do" (Ellie Goulding), "Can't Feel My Face" (The Weeknd) and "Bad Blood" (Taylor Swift ft. Kendrick Lamar). James the Human performed a medley of Martin's greatest hits, including "I Kissed a Girl," "Can't Feel My Face" and "Blank Space."

Walk the Moon received ASCAP's highly regarded Vanguard Award as well as Song of the Year for their monster hit "Shut Up and Dance," co-written with Ben Berger and Ryan McMahon. A recognition of songwriters who are shaping the future of American music, the Vanguard Award has previously gone to artists including Arcade Fire, Beastie Boys, Beck, Björk, Sara Bareilles, Diplo, fun., The Killers, Modest Mouse, The Strokes and St. Vincent.

ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews presented Publisher of the Year to winner Warner/ Chappell Music for their role in hits like "Love Me Like You Do," "See You Again" (Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth), and "Can't Feel My Face." Warner Chappell CEO Jon Platt accepted the award. The publisher was honored with a live performance of the Kelly Clarkson hit, "Heartbeat Song" by its writer, Audra Mae

Independent Publisher of the Year was a tie between BMG and SONGS Music Publishing. Singer-songwriter James Newman presented the award to BMG Music Publishing President Zach Katz for songs including "Trap Queen" (Fetty Wap) and "Where Are Ü Now" (Jack Ü ft. Justin Bieber). Diplo presented to SONGS CEO Matt Pincus and President Ron Perry for songs including "Earned It" (The Weeknd) and "Lean On" (Major Lazer and DJ Snake feat. MØ). Both publishers were recognized in song with "Where Are Ü Now," performed by its co-writer, Poo Bear.

This year's Pop Awards also featured memorable live performances from OMI ("Cheerleader") and Dave Bassett ("Ex's & Oh's") with the songs they took to the top of the charts. An emotional "In Memoriam" segment for Scott Weiland, David Bowie and Prince featured songwriter Priscilla Renea performing Prince's iconic "Purple Rain." To wrap the show, Walk the Moon brought the entire audience to its feet after accepting the ASCAP Vanguard Award for a raucous performance of their ASCAP Song of the Year-winning smash, "Shut Up and Dance."

Photos, video and a complete list of winners can be found on the ASCAP website:

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 over 560,000 members representing more than 10 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. Learn more and stay in touch at, on Twitter and Instagram @ASCAP and on Facebook.