Notorious B.I.G., Jam & Lewis and Sony/ATV Honored at ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Awards

Lester Cohen/Getty Images for ASCAP
Honoree Jimmy Jam, ASCAP President Paul Williams, Clarence Avant and guest at the ASCAP 2017 Rhythm & Soul Music Awards at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on June 22, 2017 in Beverly Hills, Calif.

The late rapper Notorious B.I.G. and the production duo of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis were presented with some of ASCAP's most prestigious honors at the ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Awards on Thursday night. The 30th annual gala was again held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills and included several live performances and was attended by a who's who of artists and industry players.

Biggie, born Christopher Wallace, was recognized with the ASCAP Founders Award in a ceremony that included a video tribute from Sean "Diddy" Combs, an intro from Wallace's sons, Justin and Christian, and an acceptance speech by his widow, Faith Evans. The tribute also included a battle between Biggie's DJ's Clark Kent and DJ Enuff.

Previous recipients of the Founders Award, presented to creators who have made pioneering contributions to music, include Quincy Jones, Dr. Dre, Diddy, Jermaine Dupri, Berry Gordy Jr., Smokey Robinson and Stevie Wonder, among others.

Warner/Chappell Music CEO Jon Platt and trailblazing music exec Clarence Avant were on hand to present Jam & Lewis with the Voice of Music Award, presented to inspiring writers and artists. Fresh off their induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, alongside Jay-Z, the duo are best known for their career-spanning work with Janet Jackson, as well as for crafting hits for pop superstars including Usher and Mariah Carey.

ASCAP also saluted the songwriters and publishers of the most-performed ASCAP songs on the 2015 R&B, hip-hop, rap and gospel charts. Sony/ATV Music earned publisher of the year, and Paul "Nineteen85" Jefferies and Allen Ritter tied for songwriter of the year honors. 

Genre-specific awards were broken down into three groups: R&B, rap and gospel: Rihanna's "Needed Me" (three co-writers and eight publishers) was awarded top R&B/Hip-Hop song; Drake's "Controlla" (eight co-writers and five publishers) earned top rap song; and Hezekiah Walker's "Better" (by Gabriel J Hatcher II, publisher Phatchordzproductions) won top gospel honors. (See full credits for these winning tracks below.)

Other awarded songs on the night included "Formation," co-written by Beyonce and Mike WiLL Made-It, "Hello," written by Greg Kurstin for Adele, and Drake's "Hotline Bling," penned by co-songwriter of the year winner Paul "Nineteen85" Jefferies. 

The evening included live performances by H.E.R., Jeremih , Kyle and Tasha Cobbs. Attendees included ASCAP president Paul Williams, French Montana, Remy Ma, Papoose, PartyNextDoor, 2 Chainz, Nicci Gilbert, Mike Will Made-It, Yo Gotti, Anthony Brown, Stacy Barthe, Majid Jordan, DJ Drama, Yung Berg, Goapele, James Fauntleroy, Mona Scott-Young and Keyshia Cole.

Top R&B/Hip-Hop Song

"Needed Me" by Rihanna

Writers
Adam “Frank Dukes” Feeney (SOCAN)
Brittany “Starrah” Hazzard
Prince Charlez

Publishers
Almo Music Corporation
BMG Gold Songs
Nyan King Music, Inc.
People Over Planes
Seven Corners
Shay Noelle Publishing
Sony/ATV Tunes LLC
These Are Songs of Pulse

 

Top Rap Song

"Controlla" by Drake

Writers
Dwayne “Supa Dups” Chin-quee
Moses Anthony Davis (PRS)
Donald Anthony Dennis (JACAP)
Gary Lewis Jackson (PRS)
Stephen “Di Genius” McGregor
Allen Ritter
Patrick Leroy Roberts (PRS)
Matthew “Boi-1da” Samuels

Publishers
1Damentional Publishing LLC
Black Chiney Music
Ritter Boy
Sony/ATV Tunes LLC
Universal Music Publishing

 

Top Gospel Song

"Better" by Hezekiah Walker

Writer
Gabriel J Hatcher II

Publisher
Phatchordzproductions

 

​See the full list of winning songs here.