Brad Paisley, Chris DuBois, Neil Thrasher, Emmylou Harris and EMI Music Publishing were the top honorees at the 42nd Annual ASCAP Country Music Awards, held last night (Nov. 8) at Nashville’s Opryland Hotel. The Alan Jackson/Jimmy Buffett hit “It’s Five O’clock Somewhere” was named ASCAP Country Song of the Year at the annual gala.
DuBois and Thrasher shared songwriter of the year honors. DuBois’ credits include “19 Somethin’,” “I Love You This Much” and “Little Moments.” DuBois began his career making tape copies at Polygram Music and in 1992 joined ASCAP Nashville as Director of Membership. In 1999, he formed Sea Gayle Music with Paisley and Frank Rogers as business partners.
Thrasher was recognized for “I Melt,” “There Goes My Life” and “Wrinkles.” Thrasher was previously part of the Asylum Records duo Thrasher Shiver, and has become one of Music Row’s most respected writers with cuts to his credit by numerous artists including Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts and Edwin McCain.
Paisley was named songwriter/artist of the year. The Arista artist was recognized for his hits “Celebrity” and “Little Moments.” Since debuting in 1999, the West Virginia native has amassed eight top-five hits on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart.
Emmylou Harris was presented ASCAP’s prestigious Founders Award for her enduring contributions to music. Past Founders Award recipients include Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne, Paul McCartney, Garth Brooks, Smokey Robinson and Bob Dylan.
“It’s Five O’clock Somewhere,” penned by ASCAP’s Jim “Moose” Brown and BMI’s Don Rollins, was named ASCAP Country Song of the Year. The tune spent eight weeks at No. 1. In addition to his songwriting, Brown is an accomplished session keyboard player who has worked with Darryl Worley, Hank Williams Jr., Trick Pony, Chely Wright and Phil Vassar.
EMI Music Publishing was named ASCAP Publisher of the Year. Headed by EMI Music Publishing executive VP/GM Gary Overton, the company was recognized for “19 Somethin’,” “Celebrity,” “Have You Forgotten,” “I Can’t Be Your Friend,” “I Just Wanna Be Mad,” “I Love You This Much,” “It’s Five O’clock Somewhere,” “Little Moments,” “Remember When,” “She Only Smokes When She Drinks,” “Sweet Southern Comfort,” “This Is God,” “Tough Little Boys” and “You’ll Think of Me.”
For a complete list of ASCAP’s Country Music Awards winners, visit Billboard.com/awards.