Photo Credit, Mike Danenberg
This Wednesday the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) hosted its 30th annual awards show at the Loews Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles. The event, which attracts some of the biggest names in the music industry, paid tribute to classic rock pioneers Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith.
Due to an unscheduled date change on their Australian tour both were absent from the ceremony to receive their ASCAP Founders Awards. Considered one of music’s most prestigious honors, previous recipients have included Elvis Costello, Neil Young, Tom Waits and Stevie Wonder.
ASCAP is a much more niche show than most other mainstream awards ceremonies. Since the society works mainly with licensing and promotion, its definition of success is a little more relative. For instance, the band Fun. received ASCAP’s Pop Song of the Year Award for their track “We Are Young” off their sophomore album Some Nights. While the song is well done and very popular, it can be argued that it doesn’t really stand out as a trailblazer in the music industry. The fact that it was on the Billboard Hot 100 for six consecutive weeks and went on to be the first song ever to log over seven weeks of massive digital sales, does make it a deserving recipient of this award. Perhaps, the ASCAP Awards are best described as more about honoring commercial success over artistry, but that said, music is a business.
One thing that stands out about the ASCAP Awards is that the night was not just about artists, it was also about the people that find the artists and bring their music to the masses. Prolific producer DJ Diplo was honored with the Vanguard Award that recognizes the impact of musical genres that help shape the face of American music. Diplo is known internationally as a curator of some of the world’s most cutting-edge DJs. His record label Mad Decent has helped to introduced marginalized music into clubs around the world.
Giving out awards is only half of what the ASCAP does to give back to the music community. The ceremony coincides with the 8th annual ASCAP “I Create Music” Expo, a three-day conference that is dedicated to the industry of songwriting and composing. The expo is a unique way for those in the industry and those looking to get into the industry to rub shoulders with influential writers, producers and artists. This year’s speakers include: Katy Perry, Big Sean, RJD2 and Ne-Yo. Check back for our coverage of the expo this weekend.
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