The ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards returned to The Beverly Wilshire in Los Angeles on Thursday, June 22, 2017 for its 30th annual ceremony. The invitation-only event celebrated the songwriters and publishers of the most performed ASCAP songs on the 2016 R&B/hip-hop, rap and gospel charts. Two music icons were feted with some of ASCAP’s most prestigious honors: Christopher “Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace was recognized with the ASCAP Founders Award on the 20th anniversary of his death; and superstar songwriting and production duo Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis received the ASCAP Voice of Music Award, just one week after being inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
The Founders Award for Notorious B.I.G. was accepted by his wife, singer/songwriter Faith Evans, his children, and his former managers and estate consultant Wayne Barrow and Mark Pitts. Sean “Diddy” Combs acknowledged Biggie’s legacy in a touching video, introducing his sons, Justin and Christian Combs, who presented the award. Biggie’s DJs, Clark Kent and DJ Enuff, commemorated him with a rousing DJ battle. ASCAP’s most prestigious honor, The Founders Award is presented to songwriters and composers 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 creative genius which will enrich generations to come. Previous recipients include: Quincy Jones, Dr. Dre, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Jermaine Dupri, Berry Gordy Jr. & Motown Industries, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Carly Simon, Melissa Etheridge, Paul McCartney, Patti Smith, Neil Young and many more.
Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis were honored with the ASCAP Voice of Music Award, presented by industry icon Clarence Avant and Chairman and CEO of Warner/Chappell Music Jon Platt. The Voice of Music Award is presented to songwriters and artists whose music gives voice to the spirit of a generation. Previous recipients of the ASCAP Voice of Music Award include Mary J. Blige, Diane Warren, Trisha Yearwood, The Doobie Brothers, Jimmy Webb, George Strait and Garth Brooks.
Songwriters and publishers of the past year’s chart-topping hits were also recognized. ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Songwriter of the Year was a tie between Allen Ritter (“Controlla,” Drake; “Work,” Rihanna, more) and Paul “Nineteen85” Jefferies (“For Free,” DJ Khaled & Drake; “Hotline Bling,” Drake, more). Publisher of the Year went to Sony/ATV.The Top R&B/Hip-Hop Song was “Needed Me,” written by Adam “Frank Dukes” Feeney, Brittany “Starrah” Hazzard, Prince Charlez and Derrus Rachel; Top Rap Song went to “Controlla,” written by Dwayne “Supa Dups” Chin-quee, Moses Anthony Davis, Donald Anthony Dennis, Gary Lewis Jackson, Stephen “Di Genius” McGregor, Allen Ritter, Patrick Leroy Roberts and Matthew “Boi-1da” Samuels; and Top Gospel Song was awarded to “Better,” written by Gabriel J Hatcher II. Special ASCAP songwriter guest presenters included GMA Dove Award winner Jonathan McReynolds, Boss and Power actor Rotimi, and Sevyn Streeter, who is about to release a new album in July.
The elite crowd of music creators, publishers and industry insiders was treated to live music from ASCAP songwriters including the first live appearance from H.E.R. performing her song “Focus;” Jeremih doing his Billboard Hot 100 hit, “Oui;” Kyle performing his Top 5 hit “iSpy” and new single, “Nothing to Lose,” and Tasha Cobbs singing her new single “Great God.”
An A-list audience of celebrities attended the show including French Montana, Remy Ma, Papoose, PartyNextDoor, 2 Chainz, Nicci Gilbert, Mike Will Made-It, Yo Gotti, Anthony Brown, Stacy Barthe, Majid Jordan, Infared, Siedah Garrett, MC Lyte, Gizzle, Young Greatness, Bridget Kelly, DJ Drama, Yung Berg, Goapele, James Fauntleroy, Boi-1da, Mona Scott-Young and Keyshia Cole. The 2017 ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards are presented by REVOLT and sponsored by Ciroc and Create Music.
For a full list of ASCAP 2017 Rhythm & Soul Awards winners, please click HERE
Gallery of the event
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JUNE 22: DJ Enuff and Clark Kent perform onstage at the ASCAP 2017 Rhythm & Soul Music Awards at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on June 22, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Lester Cohen/Getty Images for ASCAP)
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 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 www.ascap.com, on Twitter and Instagram @ASCAP and on Facebook.