SOURCE: ASCAP

June 13, 2006 15:24 ET

Multi-Platinum Award-Winning Superstar Ciara to Co-Host 19th Annual ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards in Los Angeles on June 26th

LL Cool J and Bill Withers to Be Honored With Special Awards

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- June 13, 2006 -- The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is pleased to announce that multi-platinum award-winning superstar, Ciara, will co-host the 19th Annual ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards with ASCAP President and Chairman Marilyn Bergman. The invitation-only event, which honors the songwriters and publishers of the most performed ASCAP songs on the 2005 R&B, hip-hop and rap charts, is scheduled to take place on June 26, 2006 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, California.

Ciara was recently honored with three awards at ASCAP's Pop Music Awards, held May 22, 2006, for her chart topping singles "1, 2 Step," "Goodies" and "Oh" from her multi-platinum selling debut album "Goodies." After bursting onto the scene in 2004, the multi-talented star quickly rose to the top of the charts selling over three million albums, which produced three #1 singles -- "Goodies," "1,2 Step" and "Oh" -- in addition to two #1 collaborations -- "Like You" w/ Bow Wow and "Lose Control" w/ Missy Elliott. To date, Ciara has received over 35 award nominations and wins total, which include accolades from the Grammy Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, Billboard Awards, American Music Awards and BET Awards, to name a few. Ciara is currently in the studio recording her yet untitled sophomore album and, most recently, is coming off the success of her first starring role in MTV Film's "All You've Got," which was released on DVD on May 23, 2006.

As previously announced, Marilyn Bergman will present special awards to LL Cool J and Bill Withers during the awards ceremony. LL Cool J will receive the ASCAP Golden Note Award, which is given to songwriters and composers who have achieved extraordinary milestones, and Bill Withers will be presented with the ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Heritage Award, which is given to ASCAP members who have had a major impact on the legacy of Rhythm and Soul music.

"Top" awards will be presented in the following categories: Songwriter of the Year, Publisher of the Year, Soundtrack Song of the Year, Reggae Artist of the Year, Ringtone of the Year, R&B/Hip-Hop Song of the Year, Rap Song of the Year and Gospel Song of the Year.

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 240,000 composer, lyricist and music publisher members. ASCAP also represents the repertories created by the international affiliates of 70 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. www.ascap.com

MEDIA, PLEASE NOTE: For information on how to apply for credentials to cover the 19th Annual ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards, please go to ASCAP's Press Room (www.ascap.com/press), and follow the directions posted.