The rapper will win songwriter of the year for the second year in a row at this year’s show, making her the first female songwriter to win songwriter of the year twice (whether consecutively or not) at the annual event. Kandi Burruss (2000), Alicia Keys (2005) and Mary J. Blige (2007) each took the award once.
This is ASCAP’s fourth awards event this year to be held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Rhythm & Soul Awards honors top songwriters in R&B, hip-hop and gospel.
In other categories, DaBaby’s “Suge” wins top R&B/hip-hop song and Meek Mill’s “Going Bad” wins top rap song. Both songs reached the top 10 on Billboard‘s Hot 100 and the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts. Da Baby co-wrote “Suge” with fellow ASCAP writer JetsonMade, who was born Tahj Morgan. Meek Mill co-wrote “Going Bad” with fellow ASCAP writer Westen Weiss.
“Deliver Me (This Is My Exodus),” written by Marshon Lewis and Rob “Code Lei” Woolridge, wins top gospel song. It was performed by Donald Lawrence presents the Tri-City Singers featuring Le’Andria Johnson on the album Goshen.
Elsewhere, Universal Music Publishing Group takes publisher of the year. The company’s hits during the year included “Hot Girl Summer” (Megan Thee Stallion) and “My Type” (Saweetie). The company also publishes Maze‘s 1981 hit “Before I Let Go,” which experienced a revival after Beyoncé covered it for her 2019 film Homecoming.
The event will also include performances from winners Anthony Brown (“Blessings on Blessings”) and Nicole Bus (“You”).
On July 16, “ASCAP Experience: Home Edition” will include special online programming featuring some of the 2020 award winners. “Leading Ladies of Publishing A&R” will feature executives from three of ASCAP’s winning publishers: Brandra Ringo of Warner Chappell Music, Ari Gelaw of Universal Music Publishing Group and Jennifer Drake of Sony/ATV. Details are available here: www.ascapexperience.com.
Paul Williams, ASCAP chairman of the board and president, spoke frankly about this year’s racial reckoning in a video introduction. “Together we must speak out against the racism, injustice, violence and hatred that has plagued our society for far too long.
“…As the world stumbles and tries to pick itself up, we must try to offer hope, and healing, and a vision for a better future. Nobody does that better than you. So that’s where your music comes in. I believe in my very core that your music has the power to lift our spirits, move hearts and minds and inspire real change–much needed change. That deserves to be honored and celebrated.”