Stevie Wonder & Ashley Gorley to Be Honored at ASCAP Expo

Kevin Winter/BET/Getty Images for BET
Stevie Wonder performs onstage during the 2016 BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on June 26, 2016 in Los Angeles.

ASCAP’s “I Create Music” Expo, set for April 13-15 at the Loews Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles, will offer a wide range of panels, from the importance of lyrics in crafting a hit song to a case study on the making of Justin Bieber’s 2015 album Purpose with the contributing songwriters, producers and A&R reps.

ASCAP will also honor two standout artists. Stevie Wonder, an ASCAP member for more than 50 years, will be presented with the inaugural Key of Life Award, which recognizes songwriters who demonstrate their commitment to the art form. Wonder will receive the award during his keynote interview, which will close the event. Also, four-time ASCAP country music songwriter of the year Ashley Gorley will be honored for penning 30 No. 1 country songs for such acts as Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Florida Georgia Line and Rascal Flatts.

"Ashley has a marvelous gift of capturing the ups and downs of the human experience in song,” says ASCAP president/chairman Paul Williams.

Following are three star-studded panels:

• “You Should Be Here: A Peek Into the Country Music Market” Country hitmakers Gorley, Matt Jenkins (Keith Urban, Dierks Bentley) and Zach Crowell (Sam Hunt, Luke Bryan) discuss how to navigate songwriting in Music City and reveal tips on the relationships and politics that make Nashville tick.

“We Create Music, Presented by Billboard” Panelists including film/TV composer Jeff Cardoni (CSI: Miami, HBO’s Silicon Valley), Soul Asylum frontman Dave Pirner and producer-songwriter Sam Hollander (Katy Perry, Panic! at the Disco) will talk about what it takes to build a long-term career as a songwriter.

• “Getting Credit Where Credit Is Due” Hit songwriters Aloe Blacc and Desmond Child (Bon Jovi, Aerosmith) and chamber music composer Alex Shapiro explain how songwriters and producers can ensure they are credited for their work -- an issue that has become increasingly important as streaming dominates the music business.

This article originally appeared in the April 15 issue of Billboard.