Backbeat: Kendrick Lamar, Usher, 2 Chainz, Noah "40" Shebib, Sony/ATV Top Winners At ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Awards

(L-R) Jimmy Jam, ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams, Jermaine Dupri, Usher, Terry Lewis, L.A. Reid, Sean “Diddy” Combs, ASCAP VP of Membership, Rhythm & Soul Nicole George-Middleton and Mark Pitts. 

(Photo credit: PictureGroup)

2 Chainz and producer Noah "40" Shebib shared songwriter of the year honors and Sony/ATV was named publisher of the year at ASCAP¹s 26th annual Rhythm & Soul Music Awards. The ceremony, held last evening (June 27) at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, also paid tribute to special honorees Usher and Kendrick Lamar.

(L-R) ASCAP Songwriter of the Year recipients Ty “2 Chainz” Epps and Noah “40” Shebib at the 26th annual ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Awards. (Photo credit: PictureGroup)

Additional top awards presented included Top R&B/Hip-Hop Song ("Love on Top," written by Beyoncé, The-Dream and Shea Taylor), Top Rap Song ("The Motto," written by Shebib) and Top Gospel Song ("Let the Church Say Amen," written by Andraé Crouch). 2 Chainz and Shebib each wrote four of the most performed songs of the past year, among them "Bandz a Make Her Dance" and "No Lie" (2 Chainz) and "The Motto" and "Take Care" (Shebib).

Sony/ATV led the publishing race with 20 award-winning songs, among them "Love on Top," "Refill," "Take Care," "Birthday Cake" and "Mercy."

Capping the ceremony: presentations of the Golden Note Award to Usher and the Vanguard Award to Kendrick Lamar. ASCAP president/chairman Paul Williams, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Epic chairman/CEO L.A. Reid and Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis co-presented Usher's award. Commented Combs of the eight-time Grammy-winning singer/songwriter, "We appreciate you and love you for not lowering the bar to this game, for constantly raising it." Manning a turntable, songwriter/producer Jermaine Dupri led the audience in a sing-along of hits from Usher's extensive catalog, including "My Way," "Confessions Part II," "Burn," "My Boo" and "OMG."

ASCAP CEO John LoFrumento (right) presenting the ASCAP Publisher of the Year award to Sony/ATV's Walter Jones, Sony/ATV Co-President Jody Gerson and Sony/ATV's Sam Taylor at the 26th annual ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Awards. (Photo credit: PictureGroup)

Before presenting Lamar¹s award, producer Dr. Dre lauded the fellow Compton rapper for "writing about what he sees and lives with vulnerability, humility and truth." Rounding out the evening were spirited performances by singer/songwriters Jason Nelson and Isaac Carree, Elle Varner and rapper Problem.

ASCAP Vanguard Award recipient Kendrick Lamar presented with his award by rapper-producer Dr. Dre at the 26th annual ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Awards. (Photo credit: PictureGroup)

Among the ASCAP executives on hand helping with the presentations were CEO John LoFrumento and VP of membership, Rhythm & Soul Nicole George-Middleton.