Craig Wiseman, John Rich and Sony/ATV Music Publishing were the big winners at tonight's ASCAP Country Music Awards in Nashville.
Song of the year honors were shared between two songs: "Before He Cheats," written by Josh Kear and Chris Tompkins and performed by Carrie Underwood, and "If You're Going Through Hell (Before The Devil Even Knows)," which was written by Dave Berg and released by Rodney Atkins.
Wiseman, who penned "Hillbilly Deluxe,""Something's Gotta Give" and "Summertime," was named songwriter of the year. Meanwhile, Big & Rich's Rich was deemed songwriter/artist of the year for his songs "8th Of November," "Amarillo Sky," "Sunshine and Summertime" and "Why."
Sony/ATV took top publisher honors because of the hits such as "Beer In Mexico" (recorded by Kenny Chesney), "Before He Cheats" (recorded by Carrie Underwood) "I Loved Her First" (Heartland), "Life Ain't Always Beautiful" (Gary Allan), "My Wish" (Rascal Flatts) "Settle For A Slowdown" (Dierks Bentley), "Some People Change" (Montgomery Gentry) and "You Save Me" (Chesney).
The 45th annual edition of the awards were held at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium and at the AT&T Building. Co-hosted by ASCAP CEO John LoFrumento and ASCAP senior VP Connie Bradley, the gala was attended by over 1,500 songwriters and artists, as well as music industry professionals.
Legendary singer Kenny Rogers was presented with the ASCAP Golden Note Award, which is presented to songwriters, composers and artists who have achieved extraordinary career milestones. Previous recipients include Garth Brooks, Tom Petty, Stevie Wonder, Michael W. Smith, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis and Sean "Diddy" Combs.
Don Schlitz, who, among other songs, penned "The Gambler" for Rogers, was presented the ASCAP Creative Achievement Award in recognition of "exceptional and ongoing contributions as a songwriter to the fabric of American music."