ASCAP hosted its 48th Annual Country Music Awards Sept. 14 at the War Memorial Auditorium in downtown Nashville. Big winners of the evening included Alan Jackson; Dierks Bentley, Songwriter/Artist of the Year; Josh Kear, Country Song of the Year with “Need You Now”; Brett James, Songwriter of the Year and Sea Gayle, Publisher of the Year.

A special tribute was paid to Alan Jackson, who received the most prestigious honor of the evening - the ASCAP Founders Award. Jackson adds this to his mounding collection of ASCAP honors – 46 Country Music Awards and 7 ASCAP Songwriter/Artist of the Year Awards. Pictured here are (from left) Tim DuBois, ASCAP VP and managing executive, Nashville; Jackson; Paul Williams, ASCAP's president and chairman; and Randy Grimmett, ASCAP's executive VP, domestic membership. PHOTO: KAY WILLIAMS

Brett James, who co-wrote five of ASCAP’s most performed songs of the past year, including chart toppers like Carrie Underwood’s “Cowboy Casanova” and Tim McGraw’s “It’s a Business Doing Pleasure with You”, won his second songwriter of the year award. All smiles, the country-hit-penning guru is pictured here (center), with ASCAP director of membership relations, Mike Sistad (left) and Earle Simmons, ASCAP's assistant VP of membership relations (right). PHOTO: KAY WILLIAMS

Jessi Alexander, whose power ballad, “The Climb”, was a multi-national hit for Miley Cyrus and nominated in the Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media category at the 52nd Grammy Awards, won big as the Global Impact Award honoree. Pictured here are (from left) Roger Greenaway, ASCAP Senior Vice President; Kos Weaver of Disney Music Group; Tim DuBois; and Barbara Vander Linde of Disney Music Group. PHOTO: ED RODE

Dominating the evening’s competition, Sea Gayle Music had six award winning songs and earned the coveted Publisher of the Year Award. Pictured here are (from left) Sea Gayle’s Chris DuBois, Liz O’Sullivan, and Frank Rogers. PHOTO: KAY WILLIAMS

(From left) Lady Antebellum’s Dave Haywood, Charles Kelly and Hillary Scott rocked the house during their performance of the Country Song of the Year and one of the year’s Top 5 most performed songs, “Need You Now” with the man who penned the song, Josh Kear (right). PHOTO: ED RODE

Tim Dubois presented Kellie Pickler with a Most Performed Song award for “Best Days of Your Life.” PHOTO: ED RODE

Paul Williams gathered with a few of the evening’s big winners inside the War Memorial Auditorium to celebrate the year’s achievements. Pictured here are (from left) Dierks Bentley, ASCAP's Songwriter/Artist of the Year; Alan Jackson; Chris Young, ASCAP's Top 5 Song honoree and songwriter/artist, Steven Earle. PHOTO: ED RODE

Songwriter/musician collaboration came to life onstage as Darius Rucker(left) and Frank Rogers (right) performed their Top 5 most performed song, “Alright.”

Singer Chris Young also performed his Top 5 most performed song, “Gettin’ You Home.”

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