April 19, 2007 11:00 ET

Melissa Etheridge, Johntá Austin, Mary J. Blige, Kelly Clarkson, Jermaine Dupri, The All-American Rejects, EMI Music Publishing Receive Top Honors at ASCAP Pop Music Awards

LOS ANGELES, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 19, 2007 -- Over 850 songwriters, recording artists and music industry leaders gathered at the 24th Annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards held last night (April 18) at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles, California to salute the songwriters behind some of today's most popular music. Top awards were presented to Johntá Austin and Jermaine Dupri who shared Songwriter of the Year honors; "Because of You" and "Be Without You" tied for Song of the Year; EMI Music Publishing picked up the Publisher of the Year title, and special awards were presented to Melissa Etheridge and The All-American Rejects. Awards were also presented to the songwriters and publishers of ASCAP's most performed pop songs of 2006.

Johntá Austin and Jermaine Dupri shared the coveted Songwriter of the Year title for penning six songs apiece, including "Don't Forget About Us," "Like You," "Shake It Off" and "We Belong Together." Austin also won for "Be Without You" and "Yo (Excuse Me Miss)" and Dupri for "Grillz" and "Pullin' Me Back." This is the first time that the Atlanta natives have been named ASCAP Pop Songwriter of the Year.

Austin also shared the sought-after Song of the Year honors, which was a tie between "Be Without You," written by Austin and Mary J. Blige, and "Because of You," written by Kelly Clarkson. Clarkson also collected ASCAP Pop Awards for "Behind These Hazel Eyes," co-written with Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald and Max Martin, and "Walk Away," co-written with Chantal Kreviazuk and Raine Maida.

EMI Music Publishing was named Publisher of the Year for their 26 award-winning songs. This is the fifth consecutive win for EMI and the thirteenth time in the 24-year history of the awards show that they have received this honor.

One of the many highlights of the evening was the special tribute to Melissa Etheridge who was honored with the ASCAP Founders Award for her pioneering contributions to music. 2004 ASCAP Founders Award honoree Jackson Browne joined ASCAP President and Chairman Marilyn Bergman onstage to present the award to Etheridge. Browne then introduced Fred Martin & The Levite Camp, who performed a rousing version of Etheridge's Oscar® winning song, "I Need To Wake Up."

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 Annie Lennox, Neil Young, Jackson Browne, Elvis Costello, James Taylor, Tom Waits, Steely Dan, Joni Mitchell, Billy Joel, Ashford & Simpson, Sir George Martin, Burt Bacharach & Hal David, Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller, Smokey Robinson, Sir Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder, to name a few.

The All-American Rejects were honored with ASCAP's Vanguard Award in recognition of the impact of musical genres that help shape the future of American music. The band's principal songwriters Tyson Ritter and Nick Wheeler also received two ASCAP Pop Awards for "Dirty Little Secret" and "Move Along," which they performed during the awards ceremony. Past ASCAP Vanguard honorees include: The Arcade Fire, Beck, Modest Mouse, the Strokes, Built to Spill, the Mars Volta, Joseph Arthur and Jack Johnson.

The evening also featured performances by The Fray's Joe King and Isaac Slade, who collected awards for "Over My Head" and "How To Save A Life;" Nick Lachey and co-writers Jess Cates, Emanuel Kiriakou and Lindy Robbins, who won for "What's Left Of Me;" Anna Nalick who won for "Breathe (2AM)," and Darrell Brown, Ty Lacy and Dennis Matkosky who won for penning Keith Urban's hit song "You'll Think of Me."

Among the songwriters receiving multiple-awards were Johntá Austin and Jermaine Dupri with six awards each; Kelly Clarkson, Green Day, Mikkel Eriksen (PRS), Tor Hermansen (PRS) and Timbaland with three awards each; and All-American Rejects' Tyson Ritter and Nick Wheeler, Beyoncé, Danger Mouse, The Fray's Joe King and Isaac Slade, Sean Garrett, LRoc, Sean Paul, Rob Thomas and Justin Timberlake with two awards each.

For the complete list of winners, please visit

MEDIA, PLEASE NOTE: High-resolution photos of the 2007 ASCAP Pop and Music Awards will be available for downloading from ASCAP's Press Room

The 24th Annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards is part of an entire week of events planned by ASCAP to celebrate the voice of the music creator. Los Angeles City Council has issued a proclamation to declare the week of April 15 - 21, 2007 as "ASCAP I Create Music Week" in Los Angeles, California.


Established in 1914, ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) 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 285,000 composer, lyricist and music publisher members. ASCAP also represents the repertories created by the international affiliates of 90 foreign performing rights organizations. 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.