Dr. Dre, Timbaland Surprise Graduation Party
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Hip-hop pioneer Dr. Dre will be presented with the ASCAP Founders Award during the organization's 23rd annual Rhythm & Soul Music Awards. The ceremony-which will also honor the songwriters and publishers of 2009's most performed ASCAP songs on the R&B/hip-hop, rap and gospel charts - will take place June 25 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles.

The ASCAP Founders Awards is given to songwriters and composers whose musical legacies have inspired and influenced fellow music creators. Dr. Dre, a founding member with Eazy-E and Ice Cube of the seminal rap group N.W.A., is also a Grammy Award-winning producer of the year, songwriter and label chief who has directed such hits as BlackStreet's "No Diggity," Mary J. Blige's "Family Affair" and 2Pac ("California Love"). In addition to helping launch the careers of Snoop Dogg, Eminem and 50 Cent, Dr. Dre is a hit-making artist in his own right, including "Nuthin' But a 'G' Thang" from his pivotal 1992 solo debut "The Chronic." Dr. Dre joins such previous Founders honorees as Stevie Wonder, Garth Brooks, Paul McCartney, Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson.

"Dre is one of the most important voices in modern music," said ASCAP president/chairman Paul Williams in a statement. "He created a unique, recognizable sound that dominated rap music in the early '90s...and continues to inspire artists and producers across all genres with his musical techniques."

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