ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, hosted its 34th Annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards on Thursday, May 18, recognizing pop mastermind Max Martin as Songwriter of the Year for an unprecedented tenth time. The award, which honors his role in crafting an astonishing number of the past year’s hits, including “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” (Justin Timberlake), “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)” (Adele), and “Just Like Fire” (P!nk), was presented by pop star Adam Lambert and accepted by Martin’s daughter, Doris Sandberg.
The event took place at the historic art deco Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles in front of a packed audience of songwriters, composers, producers and music industry executives. ASCAP Pop Music Song of the Year went to “Love Yourself,” written by Justin Bieber. In a tribute to Bieber and his team, 2017 ASCAP “EXPO Factor” Showcase-winning a cappella group The Filharmonic performed the song live.
The evening’s highlights belonged to two highly accomplished, multi-platinum award-winning songwriters: Diane Warren was honored with the prestigious ASCAP Founders Award, and pop star Meghan Trainor received the ASCAP Vanguard Award.
Warren, who has written timeless songs such as “Un-Break My Heart” and “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” for an extensive list of iconic artists including Beyoncé, Adele and Whitney Houston, was honored with two stunning live tributes: LeAnn Rimes sang “How Do I Live,” and Jacob Latimore performed “Have You Ever.” In a surprise appearance, rapper Snoop Dogg, a past Warren collaborator, presented her with the award. The ASCAP Founders Award is presented to pioneering ASCAP songwriters who have made exceptional contributions to music by inspiring and influencing their fellow music creators, and adds Warren to the ranks of such past recipients as Ashford & Simpson, Burt Bacharach & Hal David, Jackson Browne, Elvis Costello, Billy Joel, Gene Simmons & Paul Stanley (KISS), Annie Lennox, Sir Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell, Tom Petty, Smokey Robinson, Carly Simon, Patti Smith, Rod Stewart, James Taylor, Steven Tyler & Joe Perry (Aerosmith), Tom Waits, Ann & Nancy Wilson (Heart), Stevie Wonder and Neil Young.
Meghan Trainor received ASCAP’s highly regarded Vanguard Award, which recognizes the impact of songwriters who are shaping the future of American music. In addition to her 2015 breakout hit, “All About That Bass,” and two multi-platinum albums Title and Thank You, Trainor has penned hits for artists including Rascal Flatts, Lauren Alaina, Jennifer Lopez and Fifth Harmony. Jazz bassist/composer Marcus Miller honored Trainor with a performance of “All About That Bass;” and a surprise appearance by Jasmine Thompson, performing “Like I’m Going to Lose You” and her new Trainor-penned single, “Old Friends,” electrified the audience. The Vanguard Award has previously gone to artists including The All-American Rejects, Arcade Fire, Band of Horses, Beastie Boys, Beck, Björk, Sara Bareilles, Diplo, fun., Jack Johnson, The Killers, Kendrick Lamar, Modest Mouse, The Strokes, St. Vincent and Walk the Moon.
Publisher of the Year went to Sony/ATV for their role in hits of 2016 like “Cheap Thrills” (Sia), “Don’t Let Me Down” (The Chainsmokers ft. Daya) and “I Took a Pill in Ibiza” (Mike Posner). Songwriter and pop star Mike Posner honored Sony/ATV with a live performance of “I Took a Pill in Ibiza.”
BMG took Independent Publisher of the Year in recognition of hits like “Hide Away” (Daya), “Work from Home” (Fifth Harmony), and “On My Mind” (Ellie Goulding). A live performance of “Hide Away” by Britten Newbill & Brett McLaughlin celebrated BMG and Sony/ATV together, both publishers having had roles in the hit song.
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 more than 600,000 members representing more than 10.5 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.