SOURCE: ASCAP

March 22, 2007 09:00 ET

Marco Antonio Solís Named Songwriter of the Year, Franco De Vita and Joan Sebastian Receive Special Honors at 15th Annual ASCAP Latin Music Awards

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 22, 2007 -- Marco Antonio Solís was named Songwriter of the Year at the 15th Annual ASCAP Latin Music Awards held last night (March 21) at The Nokia Theatre in New York City. Franco De Vita and Joan Sebastian received special ASCAP honors for career achievement. Three songs -- "Mas Allá Del Sol," "Un Beso," and "Down" -- shared Latin Song of the Year honors and Sony/ATV Music Publishing picked up the Publisher of the Year award. The black-tie awards celebration also honored the songwriters and publishers of ASCAP's most performed Latin songs of 2006.

Co-hosted by Kamar de los Reyes of ABC's "One Life to Live" and Birmania Rios of Univision's "Despierta América," the evening included live performances by some of Latin music's hottest stars and emerging artists, including Latin Grammy Award-winning Mexican rock singer and actress Alejandra Guzmán, Argentinean singer, songwriter and producer Alejandro Lerner, Mexican pop/rock trio Camila featuring Mario Domm, Puerto Rico's reggaeton duo Rakim & Ken-Y, Spanish vocalist Shaila Dúrcal, Cuban music and dance troupe Raices Habaneras, and Mariachi Real de Mexico.

Marco Antonio Solís was named ASCAP's Songwriter of the Year award for penning the most award-winning songs. The Latin Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter from Mexico has endured for almost four decades as one of the most original voices in Latin music. His long list of accomplishments includes over 20 recorded albums, over 300 original songs that have been interpreted by countless artists, a string of radio hits that have reached No.1 on Billboard's "Hot Latin Tracks" chart, numerous industry awards and sold-out concert tours.

ASCAP CEO John LoFrumento and ASCAP Senior Vice President, Membership Group - Latin Alexandra Lioutikoff presented special ASCAP Awards during the evening to two of Latin music's most distinguished artists: Franco De Vita and Joan Sebastian.

Franco De Vita was presented with ASCAP's Latin Heritage Award in recognition of his unique and enduring contributions to music. De Vita has written some of the most colorful and engaging stories in song over the last 30 years. His chart-topping hits are abundant and internationally acclaimed, and his loyal and ever-expanding fan base is wide and varied. Indisputably, he is an emblem of lyrical romance in Latin American music and one of the largest selling musical artists ever to emerge from Venezuela. De Vita has won several ASCAP awards, including hits performed by Ricky Martin and Chayanne.

Joan Sebastian received ASCAP's Golden Note Award for his innovative and enduring contributions to Regional Mexican and Pop Music, both as a songwriter and as an artist, which have earned him an extraordinary place in Latin music worldwide. Sebastian is a three-time ASCAP Songwriter of the Year honoree and, in 2000 he was honored with ASCAP's Silver Pen Award in recognition of 35 years of songwriting. Sebastian was also honored during the event for three songs: "De Contrabando," "Oiga" and ASCAP Latin Song of the Year, "Mas Allá Del Sol."

De Vita and Sebastian 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, Ricardo Arjona, Rubén Blades, Celia Cruz, José Feliciano, Ednita Nazario, Tito Puente, Arturo Sandoval, Gilberto Santa Rosa and Olga Tañón.

Sony/ATV Music Publishing collected the Publisher of the Year award for their 33 award-winning songs. This is the eighth time that Sony has received this honor.

Three songs shared ASCAP's Latin Song of the Year honors: Joan Sebastian's "Mas Allá Del Sol," written by Joan Sebastian, published by Vander Music; Aventura's "Un Beso," written by Anthony Santos, published by Premium Latin Publishing, and Rakim & Ken-Y's "Down," written by Ken-Y, Rakim, Rafael Pina and Wise, published by Mafer Music Publishing and Sony/ATV Discos Music Publishing.

Awards were also presented in the following categories: Pop/Ballad, Tropical, Regional Mexican, Rock, Urban and Television. In the Television category, the Top Rated Theme Song for Soap Opera was "Cómo Duele" from "Barrera De Amor," written by Mauricio L. Arriaga and José Eduardo Murguía, published by Editora San Ángel. For the third consecutive year, the Top Rated Theme Song for TV Variety was "Don Francisco Presenta," written by Gerardo Flores and published by Nuestro Music. Songwriter Carlos Marmo and publisher Nuestro Music received the inaugural award for Most Performed TV Music Score.

Among the songwriters who won multiple awards were: Mauricio L. Arriaga, Ken-Y, José Eduardo Murguía, Rakim, Anthony Santos and Joan Sebastian with three each; and Daddy Yankee, Mario Domm, Erasmo Esteves, Rafael Pina and Wise with two awards each.

For the complete list of winners, please visit www.ascap.com.

High-resolution photos will be available for members of the press to download from ASCAP's website: 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 8.5 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 90 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