The Weeknd was named songwriter of the year for the first time at the ASCAP Pop Music Awards on Tuesday (April 13). The event was held virtually for the second year in a row.
The pop and R&B superstar also received two most-performed song awards for “Blinding Lights” and “Heartless,” both of which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The Weeknd is now a 13-time ASCAP Awards winner. “Blinding Lights” logs a record-extending 57th week in the top 10 on this week’s Billboard Hot 100.
Meanwhile, Post Malone’s smash “Circles” was named song of the year. The song spent 39 weeks in the top 10, which was the record-holder until “Blinding Lights” surpassed it. “Circles” also received Grammy nods for record and song of the year. (“Blinding Lights” was famously snubbed by the Grammys.) The award for “Circles” was shared by ASCAP writers Louis Bell, Kaan Güneşberk and Billy Walsh and their publishers Nyan King Music, Sony Music Publishing and Universal Music Publishing Group.
Warner Chappell Music was named publisher of the year for the 14th time since 1988. Only one publisher can beat that record: EMI has come out on top 17 times. Warner Chappell amassed 13 most performed song awards this year, for such hits as “Blinding Lights,” “Heartless,” “10,000 Hours,” “Lose You to Love Me,” “Rockstar,” “Dance Monkey” and “Break My Heart.”
Paul Williams, ASCAP chairman of the board and president; Elizabeth Matthews, CEO; and John Titta, executive vice president and chief creative officer, opened the event with a special video introduction on @ASCAP social media.
The celebration kicked off Monday (April 12) with an Instagram Live interview and performance from Phil Plested, co-writer of Lewis Capaldi’s hit ballad “Before You Go.” (Co-writers Ben Kohn and Pete “Merf” Kelleher are also ASCAP winners.)
On Wednesday (April 14) at 6:00 p.m. ET, Madison Emiko Love and Leland (Brett Leland McLaughlin), co-writers of Ava Max’s “Kings & Queens,” will take the ASCAP Instagram Live stage to tell the story behind their punchy hit (co-written by winners Desmond Child, Cirkut and Mimoza).
The social media events will also include an exclusive performance of “Die From a Broken Heart” from Maddie & Tae. The duo features Maddie Marlow, ASCAP Award-winning songwriter. (Co-writers Deric Ruttan and Jonathan Singleton are also winners).
The 2021 ASCAP Pop Music Awards recognize the songwriters and publishers behind the publisher’s most performed songs of the past year. ASCAP will premiere video acceptance speeches, virtual studio tours, stories behind the songs and more on @ASCAP social media.
Starting at 10:00 a.m. ET on Tuesday through Thursday, April 15, friends, fans and peers can tune into the festivities via @ASCAP on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, using the hashtag #ASCAPAwards.
A complete list of winners is available on the ASCAP website.