On the strength of her hits for Taylor Swift ( "Tim McGraw" and "Teardrops On My Guitar") as well as her contributions to projects by Lori McKenna ("Unglamorous)" and Walt Wilkins & the Mystiqueros ("Diamonds In The Sun"), songwriter Liz Rose took home top honors at the SESAC Nashville Awards, which were held Monday evening (Nov. 5) at the organization's Music Row headquarters. SESAC associate VP Tim Fink presented Rose with a one-of-a-kind, handcrafted acoustic guitar, courtesy of Gibson Guitar.
Country song of the year honors went to Brian White for "Watching You," which spent four weeks at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs for Rodney Atkins. Atkins and White performed the song for those in attendance.
Hillsboro Valley Songs, Sony/ATV Timber Publishing, the publisher of Rose's catalogue, was named SESAC's top country publisher.
A highlight of the evening was the presentation of the "Spirit Of SESAC" award in memory of Americana songwriter/artist Buck Jones, who tragically died in an accident in March while traveling to a show in Texas. His widow, Amy Beth Jones, accepted the award in his memory.
SESAC also recognized the Americana format during the night's festivities, handing out awards to several top artists and songwriters in the genre including Bob Dylan, Kevin Welch, Kieran Kane and Walt Wilkins, among others.
For a complete list of winners, go to sesac.com .