The ASCAP Awards, held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London tonight (Oct. 14), recognized the most performed works in 2008 by writer and publisher members of U.K. collecting society PRS for Music, who are licensed by ASCAP for the U.S.
Sir Paul McCartney was named songwriter of the year and was recognized with song awards for "All You Need Is Love," "Come Together" and "Hello Goodbye," while song of the year went to Coldplay for "Viva La Vida."
Universal Music Publishing was named publisher of the year for having five of the most-performed winning songs: "Viva La Vida," "Paper Planes" recorded by M.I.A, "Mercy" recorded by Duffy, Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" and "Swagga Like Us," the Jay-Z and T.I. collaboration featuring a sample from "Paper Planes."
Scottish electronic musician, singer songwriter and producer Calvin Harris was presented with ASCAP's vanguard award in recognition of his debut album, "I Created Disco." Harris is signed to EMI Music Publishing.
Alternative rock duo the Ting Tings were honored with the ASCAP college award for their debut album, "We Started Nothing." Their songs are published by Playwrite Music, Sony/ATV Music Publishing U.K. and Warner/Chappell Music.
Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe winning Hall of Fame songwriter Paul Williams performed at the event, accompanied by American soul singer Madeline Bell. Williams, who was elected president and chairman of the board of ASCAP in April 2009, wrote hits including "We've Only Just Begun," "Rainy Days and Mondays," and "You and Me Against the World." His songs have been recorded by artists as diverse as Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Willie Nelson, Ella Fitzgerald, David Bowie, Ray Charles, R.E.M., Tony Bennett, the Carpenters, Barbra Streisand, Johnny Mathis, Luther Vandross, Scissor Sisters, Diana Krall, Jason Mraz, and Kermit the Frog.
In total, 21 song awards were presented throughout the evening. Winners included "Mercy" co-writer Steve Booker, Ozzy Osbourne collaborator Bob Daisley (for "Crazy Train") and Jim McCarty and Paul Samwell-Smith of the Yardbirds, who were honored for their contributions to the Pussycat Dolls' "When I Grow Up."
Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart were recognized for the ninth time for "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)," and last year's songwriter of the year Dido was honored for the eighth time for "Thank You."
AC/DC's Brian Johnson got two awards for "Back in Black" and "You Shook Me All Night Long," while M.I.A. and the Clash won for "Paper Planes" and "Swagga Like Us." U2 were also double winners for "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" and "With or Without You."
Other honorees included Phil Collins ("In The Air Tonight"), Cathy Dennis ("I Kissed A Girl"), Def Leppard and Mutt Lange ("Pour Some Sugar On Me"), Pink Floyd's Roger Waters ("Money"), the Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger and Keith Richards ("Start Me Up"), and Cornel Campbell, Edward O'Sullivan "Bunny" Lee and Lloyd Samuel Mason ("Need U Bad").
The event was hosted by ASCAP SVP, International, Roger Greenaway and VP, Membership, Seán Devine.