'Reckless' Duo Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance, Sugar Sugar's Andy Kim Win Top Honors at SOCAN Awards

Ruth B, Bryan Adams, Jim Vallance and Carly Rae Jepsen are seen at the 28th annual SOCAN Awards, held June 19 in Toronto.

The writers behind Canada’s biggest songs of 2016 were honored at the annual SOCAN Awards Monday night (June 19) in Toronto, along with veterans with decades of hits and creators with that one song that defined them.

From Shaun Frank’s “Closer” with Chainsmokers; Ruth B’s “Lost Boy” and Strumbellas’ “Spirits” to career-defining “Informer” by Snow and multiple hitmakers Shawn Mendes, Drake, The Weeknd and Alessia Cara, their A-to-B all likely started off with similar stories about perseverance as those still bounced around 40, even 50 years later.

In bestowing SOCAN’s Lifetime Achievement Award to Bryan Adams and long-time collaborator Jim Vallance, we learned of a teenaged Adams borrowing bus fare from Vallance 40 years ago in Vancouver so the two could get together to write. And in presenting Andy Kim with the Cultural Impact Award, we learned he had $40 to his name in the '60s when the teenager took a bus from Montreal to New York to become part of the now fabled Brill Building songwriting one-stop.  

The stories of their determination and pursuit of the perfect pop creation and their global breakthroughs were highlights of the 28th annual SOCAN Awards, a private ticketed event for 600 songwriters and music industry personnel. “The thing that’s interesting about making music is it’s the greatest privilege,” Adams later told them.

Starting as songwriters for other acts (Prism, BTO, Kiss) and going on to pen Adams’ early solo albums including 1983’s Cuts Like A Knife and 1985’s Reckless and the newest, 2015’s Get Up, the Adams-Vallance partnership is Canada’s Lennon-McCartney, Elton John-Bernie Taupin, and Glimmer Twins Mick and Keith. Together, they have won the most SOCAN Awards in history: 28.

Andy Kim, whose hits include “Rock Me Gently” and “Baby I Love You” and recently worked with Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene on 2015’s Longest Time, was presented with the Cultural Impact Award for 1969’s “Sugar Sugar,” co-written with American Jeff Barry for cartoon band The Archies, and later covered by Tina Turner, Bob Marley, Wilson Pickett... and Homer Simpson.

The SOCAN Awards -- organized by the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada which collected royalties of C$330 million ($249 million) in 2016 for its 150,000 members -- recognizes Canada's music creators in a range of categories, including dance, urban, pop/rock, country, jazz, folk/roots, classical, and film & television, in addition to the major special achievement awards. 

More than 50 awards were presented based on SOCAN data compiled over the last calendar year. The winners were decided collaboratively between the Membership Committee of the SOCAN Board of Directors and leaders in the SOCAN Membership department.

Pop band Hedley received the National Achievement Award; Drake, who was not in attendance, the International Achievement Award, while one of his collaborators, Paul “Nineteen85” Jefferies, whose CV includes “One Dance,” “Hotline Bling,” “Hold On, We’re Going Home,” landed Songwriter of the Year for racking up the highest number of domestic performances.

The inaugural Publisher of the Year Award was given to Sony/ATV, which was nominated alongside Red Brick Music Publishing and CYMBA Music.

“Thank you to all the great publishers in the room, a special group in that we rely on the spirit of collaboration and how much we care about the creators,” said Sony/ATV vice president David Quilico. “At the heart of it all is SOCAN pulling us together and celebrating our behind the scenes efforts tonight and every day of the year.”

The special achievement awards, created by renowned Canadian cymbal makers Sabian, are also a playable percussive instrument, incorporating five custom bronze crotales, tuned this year with notes from the chorus of 1985’s "Summer of 69," by Adams and Vallance.

After spreading out the duo’s success story over multiple videos shown throughout the awards ceremony, producer Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper, Peter Gabriel) took the stage to present them with the Lifetime Achievement trophy. He decided not to rehash the “litany of stuff that these guys have done.” Instead, “I’m going to tell you a little bit about them as people,” he said. He went on to talk of “their feverish commitment to the pursuit of perfection,” dating back to when the three of them all worked together on material for Rod Stewart 30-some years ago.

Vallance, who spoke first, said, “I’m really fortunate to spend my entire life doing what I love, writing songs and making records and I couldn’t have wished for a more amazing partner to share that journey with.”  

Adams is even more beholden to Vallance, a man eight years older than him who already had a platinum-selling album with his band Prism which he left to give full-time songwriting a go. “I had to borrow bus fare to get to Jim’s house — from Jim,” Adams quipped. “It’s true.  I had nothin’. When I met Jim, I had no money. I had nothing. Had nothing. I owe everything to this man. Seriously.”  

Andy Kim received his Cultural Impact Award from chief membership and business development officer Michael McCarty, for the song that remains on Billboard’s all-time Hot 100 greatest singles and was cited by Lou Reed as something he wished he’d written.  “Everything that happened in my life started with you Jeffrey,” Kim said in the tribute video to Barry.  

In his acceptance speech, Kim references the summer of '69.  “I always had a special feeling about that year and that song,” he said, noting he released his first million seller, “Baby I Love You” and then “Sugar Sugar,” which “went on to historic heights, the state of my imagination.”

He said he never liked that the song was called “bubblegum” but the covers by Pickett and Turner and Marley “changed the perception.”

“You write what you write for yourself,” Kim said. “Hits only happen when people like what you’ve written – it’s that simple.”

When Ninteen85 picked up his Songwriter of the Year Award, he said he first heard Marley’s version of the song from his Jamaican grandmother, so he didn’t know it was by a Canadian; and as for “Summer of 69,” his production company is called Summer 85, an ode to the classic.

A newcomer compared to Adams, Vallance and Kim, he has his own mentor, Noah “40” Shebib, whose hits with Drake dates back to 2009’s “Successful.” 

“The biggest piece of information I ever took from 40. Back in 2013, he said, ‘Look, everybody here is swinging for the fences. Everybody’s trying to get that big hit. Everybody’s trying to get that No. 1, that thing that changes the face of what’s going on.' He said, 'Don’t even bother about that. You’ve made great music; you know it feels right.'"

“The interesting thing about that is probably three or four days later we made ‘Hold On, We’re Going Home.’ So thank you, 40, for that.”

See the full list of winners and songwriting breakdowns below:

INTERNATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Aubrey Drake Graham

NATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Hedley

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Bryan Adams & Jim Vallance

CULTURAL IMPACT AWARD
Andy Kim, “Sugar, Sugar”

SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR
Paul “Nineteen85” Jefferies

PUBLISHER OF THE YEAR
Sony/ATV Music Publishing Canada

POP MUSIC AWARDS

“Lost Boy” 
Performed by Ruth B 
Ruth B 
Sony/ATV Music Publishing Canada 

“Wicked”
Performed by Tyler Shaw
Ryan Kowarsky
Tyler Shaw
Alex Vujic / Pilzbury Inc.

“Treat You Better”
Performed by Shawn Mendes
Shawn Mendes / Mendes Music
Scott Friedman (BMI)
Teddy Geiger (BMI)
Universal Music Publishing Canada

“2 Heads”
Performed by Coleman Hell
Coleman Hell
La+ch

DANCE MUSIC AWARDS

“Closer”
Performed by The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey
Shaun Frank / Regicide Entertainment Inc
Ashley Frangipane (BMI)
Frederic Kennett (ASCAP)
Joseph King (ASCAP)
Isaac Slade (ASCAP)
Andrew Taggart (ASCAP).
Canadiana Music

“Dancing Kizomba”
Performed by Alx Veliz
Alx Veliz
Medylandia
Architect of Dreams
Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd. Canada
Walt Disney Music of Canada Ltd.

COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS

“Came Here to Forget”
Performed by Blake Shelton
Deric Ruttan / Doc & Maggie Music
Craig Wiseman (ASCAP)
THiS Music
Warner Chappell Music Canada Ltd.

“Take Me Home”
Performed by Jess Moskaluke
Jess Moskaluke
Kelly Archer
Emily Shackelton (BMI)
CCS Rights Management Corp.
Downtown Music Canada
Little Auburn Bungalow Music Publishing

“Lawn Chair Lazy”
Performed by The James Barker Band
James Barker
Gavin Slate
Travis Wood
ole

LICENSED TO PLAY AWARD
Apple Music

BREAKOUT AWARD
PARTYNEXTDOOR

HAGOOD HARDY AWARD
Darcy James Argue

JAN V. MATEJCEK NEW CLASSICAL MUSIC AWARD
Jordan Nobles

AUDIO-VISUAL COMPOSER OF THE YEAR
Keith Power

FOLK / ROOTS MUSIC AWARD
Donovan Woods
Warner Chappell Music Canada Ltd.

VIRAL SONG AWARD
“Broccoli”
Performed by D.R.A.M. featuring Lil Yachty
Julian “J Gramm” Gramma
Karl Brutus (BMI)
Roget Chahayed (ASCAP)
Shelley Massenburg Smith (BMI)
Miles McCollum (BMI)
BMG Rights Management Canada Inc.

URBAN MUSIC AWARDS

“Might Not”
Performed by Belly featuring The Weeknd
Ahmad “Belly” Balshe
Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye
Benjamin Diehl (BMI)
SAL&CO
SONGS Music Publishing
Warner Chappell Music Canada Ltd.

“Can I Get a Witness”
Performed by SonReal
Aaron “SonReal” Hoffman
Rachid Aziz (BMI)
Nadir Khayat (BMI)
BMG Rights Management Canada Inc.

SOCAN CLASSIC MUSIC AWARDS (Cont’d.)

“Something to Live for”
Performed by Barney Bentall & The Legendary Hearts
Barney Bentall
Gary Fraser
Middle Kingdom Music Ltd. 

“Let Your Backbone Slide”
Performed by Maestro Fresh Wes
Anthony Davis / Tasting Music
Peter Davis
Wesley Williams
BMG Rights Management Canada Inc.
Warner Chappell Music Canada

Songs by
BRYAN ADAMS / Adams Communications Inc. / Adams Communications Inc. II
and
JIM VALLANCE / Some Guy Songs

“Heat of the Night”
“Kids Wanna Rock”
“Lonely Nights”
“One Night Love Affair”
Performed by Bryan Adams
Almo Music of Canada
Irving Music of Canada

“Do I Have to Say the Words?”
Performed by Bryan Adams
Robert John “Mutt” Lange (PRS)
Almo Music of Canada

“Edge of a Dream”
Performed by Joe Cocker
Almo Music of Canada
Irving Music of Canada

“Teacher, Teacher”
Performed by 38 Special
Almo Music of Canada
Irving Music of Canada    
“Wild Things”
Performed by Alessia Cara
Alessia Cara
James Ho (ASCAP)
Thabiso Nkhereanye (ASCAP)
Coleridge Tillman (BMI)
Sony/ATV Music Publishing Canada

“Scars to Your Beautiful”
Performed by Alessia Cara
Alessia Cara
Warren Felder (BMI)
Coleridge Tillman (BMI)
Andrew Wansel (BMI)
Sony/ATV Music Publishing Canada

“Hello”
Performed by Hedley
Jacob Hoggard
Brian Howes / Cake & Eat It 2 Publishing
Jason Van Poederooyen / 8 Pack of Lucky Publishing
Atlas Music Publishing LLC
Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd. Canada
Universal Music Publishing Canada

“Starboy”
Performed by The Weeknd featuring Daft Punk
Martin “Doc” McKinney
Jason “Daheala” Quenneville
Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye
Henry “Cirkut” Walter
Thomas Bangalter (BMI)
Guillaume Emmanuel de Homem Christo (BMI)
Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd. Canada
SAL&CO
SONGS Music Publishing
Universal Music Publishing Canada

DOMESTIC TV MUSIC AWARDS - FICTION

Heartland
Keith Power
Seven24 Films Inc.
Dynamo Films Inc.

Murdoch Mysteries
Robert Carli
Shaftesbury Music
Sony/ATV Music Publishing Canada

DOMESTIC TV MUSIC AWARDS – NON-FICTION

Border Security: Canada’s Front Line
Greg Fisher
Derek Treffry
eOne TV Unscripted

Leave it to Bryan
Peter Chapman
SI Entertainment Productions Inc.

Sportsnet Central
Stephan Moccio / Sing Little Penguin
Rogers Sportsnet Inc.
Universal Music Publishing Canada

DOMESTIC TV MUSIC AWARDS – ANIMATED

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood
James Chapple
Graeme Cornies
David Kelly
Brian Pickett

The Adventures of Napkin Man!
Trevor Allan
Jody Colero
Peter Coulman (posthumous)
Ian LeFeuvre
Thomas Thorney
Breakthrough Publishing Inc.
ole

ACHIEVEMENT IN FEATURE FILM MUSIC

The Good Dinosaur
Jeff Danna
Mychael Danna
Walt Disney Music of Canada Ltd.

San Andreas
Andrew Lockington
New Line Music Corp (BMI)
Sub-published in Canada by Universal Music Publishing Canada

ROCK MUSIC AWARDS

“Afraid of Heights”
Performed by Billy Talent
Ian D’sa
Jonathan Gallant
Ben Kowalewicz
Aaron Solowoniuk / Dudebox Music
EMI April Music Canada Ltd.

“Spirits”
Performed by The Strumbellas
Jeremy Drury
Jonathan Hembrey
Darryl James
Brian Pickett
David Ritter
Joanne Setterington
Simon Ward
Isabel Ritchie (ASCAP)
Domino Double Nine

“Amerika”
Performed by Wintersleep
Loel Campbell / Gosh Yes Music
Tim D’eon / D Bones Music
Paul Murphy / Silly Old Songs Productions

“Push + Pull”
Performed by July Talk
Thomas Knox D’arcy
Ian Matthew Docherty
Peter Goyette Dreimanis
Leah Fay Goldstein
Josh Earl Warburton
Daniel Patrick Thomas Miles
Arts & Crafts Music
Third Side Music
July Talk Music
Songs by
BRYAN ADAMS / Adams Communications Inc. II / Badams Music Ltd.

“(Everything I Do) I Do It for You”
Performed by Bryan Adams
Michael Kamen (BMI)
Robert John “Mutt” Lange (PRS)
Almo Music of Canada

“Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?”
Performed by Bryan Adams
Michael Kamen (BMI)
Robert John “Mutt” Lange (PRS)
 (PRS)

“When You’re Gone”
Performed by Bryan Adams featuring Melanie C.
Eliot Kennedy (PRS)  

“Lay You Down Easy”
Performed by MAGIC! featuring Sean Paul
Nasri Atweh
Adam Messinger / Messy Music
Mark Pellizzer / Mark Pelli Music Inc.
Ben Spivak
Alex Tanas
Sean Paul (ASCAP)
BMG Rights Management Canada Inc.
Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd. Canada
Sony/ATV Music Publishing Canada
Universal Music Publishing Canada

“One Dance”
Performed by Drake featuring Wizkid & Kyla
Aubrey Drake Graham
Paul “Nineteen85” Jefferies
Noah “40” Shebib
Ayodeji Balogun (COSON)
Cory Johnson (PRS)
Errol Reid (PRS)
Luke Reid (PRS)
Kyla Smith (PRS)
EMI April Music Canada Ltd.
Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd. Canada
Nyan King Music Ltd.

“Too Good”
Performed by Drake featuring Rihanna
Aubrey Drake Graham
Paul “Nineteen85” Jefferies
Terence Lam
Maneesh
Adam Randall Martin
Dwayne Chin-Quee (ASCAP)
Robyn Fenty (BMI)
Andrew Hershey (ASCAP)
Andrae Sutherland (BMI)
EMI April Music Canada Ltd.
Nyan King Music
Sony/ATV Music Publishing Canada

ACHIEVEMENTS IN MADE-FOR-TV FILM MUSIC

Killer Photo
Christopher Nickel
MRD - Music Revenue Data
ROP Musique

William Shatner Presents: 
Chaos on the Bridge
Catalin Marin

INTERNATIONAL FILM MUSIC AWARDS

San Andreas
Andrew Lockington
New Line Music Corp (BMI)
Sub-published in Canada by Universal Music Publishing Canada

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
Andrew Lockington
Fox Film Music Corp (BMI)
Sub-published in Canada by
Casablanca Media Publishing Inc.

INTERNATIONAL TV SERIES MUSIC AWARDS

Paw Patrol
James Chapple
Graeme Cornies
David Kelly
Brian Pickett
Published by Spin Master Ltd.
Administered worldwide by CCS
Rights Management Canada

Hawaii Five-O
Keith Power
Published by Beverlyfax Music Inc. (BMI)
Sub-published in Canada by
Sony/ATV Music Publishing Canada

INTERNATIONAL SONG AWARD

“Closer”
Performed by The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey
Shaun Frank
Ashley Frangipane (ASCAP)
Frederic Kennett (ASCAP)
Joseph King (ASCAP)
Isaac Slade (ASCAP)
Andrew Taggart (ASCAP)
Regicide Entertainment Inc.
Canadiana Music

SOCAN CLASSIC MUSIC AWARDS

“Informer”
Performed by Snow
Darrin Kenneth O’Brien

“High School Confidential”
Performed by Rough Trade
Carole Pope
Kevan Staples
Mummy Dust Music Ltd.

“Hurts to Love You”
Performed by The Philosopher Kings
Gerald Eaton / Mawga Dawg Inc.
Craig Hunter
James Brian McCollum / Memilo Music
Jason Levine / / Mental Case Music Ltd.
Jonathan Levine / Old Schul Music Inc.
Brian “Sweetwesty” West / Worldwide West Music Inc.
Sony/ATV Music Publishing Canada

“Do Ya”
Performed by Barney Bentall & The Legendary Hearts
Barney Bentall
Michael Crozier / Grievous Angel Music
David Reimer
Middle Kingdom Music Ltd.

Songs by
JIM VALLANCE / Some Guy Songs

“Deuces Are Wild”
Performed by Aerosmith
Jim Vallance
Steven Tyler (ASCAP)
Almo Music of Canada

“Rag Doll”
Performed by Aerosmith
Jim Vallance
Joe Perry (ASCAP)
Steven Tyler (ASCAP)
Holly Night (ASCAP)
Almo Music of Canada

“Spaceship Superstar”
Performed by Prism
EMI Blackwood Music Canada Ltd.