Songwriter/producer Max Martin, fun.’s “We Are Young,” Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, and producer/DJ Diplo were among the top honorees at ASCAP’s 30th annual pop awards Wednesday night (April 17). Held at the Loews Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles, the ceremony also named Sony/ATV Tunes as publisher of the year.
This marks the third consecutive year and sixth time that Martin has been named songwriter of the year—an ASCAP Pop Awards record. He wrote seven of 2012’s most performed ASCAP songs, including Jessie J’s “Domino,” Maroon 5’s “One More Night,” Katy Perry’s “Part of Me” and Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” Fun.’s Andrew Dost and Nate Ruess accepted the pop song of the year award for “We Are Young,” which features fellow ASCAP songwriter Janelle Monae. The song was No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for six consecutive weeks.
In addition to Sony/ATV, which counted 22 of the most-performed songs, two other publishing companies were honored with inaugural awards. Prescription Songs was named independent publisher of the year; Kobalt Music received publisher administrator of the year accolades.
Two career achievement awards rounded out the evening. Aerosmith’s Perry and Tyler were presented with the Founders Award, whose past recipients include Sir Paul McCartney and Carly Simon. Unable to attend due to an unexpected date change on their Australian tour, the pair appeared in a videotaped acceptance filmed during a private ceremony on April 8. On hand to accept his Vanguard Award was producer/DJ Diplo, who noted, “There’s so much good music coming out [in 2013]. I’m very proud to be here.” That award’s past honorees include The All-American Rejects, Arcade Fire and the Beastie Boys.
ASCAP president/chairman Paul Williams welcomed the audience of songwriters, artists and industry executives, peppering his remarks with sentiments that drew hearty applause from the many publishers and songwriters in the crowd. “More music is being used … and the bastards aren’t paying us enough. That’s not on the [cue] cards. There would be no music, no streaming without songwriters and composers who deserve to make a living from their art. We deserve to be compensated fairly. Damn it, we earned it. Give us our money.”
The evening also included two performances. Singer/songwriter Priscilla Renea performed her co-written ASCAP Award-winning song, Chris Brown’s “Don’t Wake Me Up” plus a second track, “When I Met You.” And late songwriter Hal David, a former ASCAP president and board member, was paid tribute in song by indie pop duo The Bird and the Bee (Inara George and Greg Kurstin) with their cover of his composition “What the World Needs Now Is Love.”
The 30th annual ASCAP Pop Awards doubled as the precursor to the performance rights organization’s eighth annual “I Create Music” Expo. The three-day conference kicks off today (April 18) and runs through April 20 at the Loews Hollywood.