ASCAP'S 18th Annual Rhythm & Soul Music Awards

Jermaine Dupri and Alicia Keys were named Songwriters of the Year at the 18th Annual ASCAP Rhythm and Soul Music Awards held on Monday June 27, 2005 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, CA. Over six hundred music and entertainment luminaries started gathering at the red carpet check-in at 5:00 PM and was followed by an intimate cocktail and poolside dinner buffet which led into the prestigious ceremony to celebrate some of today's most popular music as awards were presented to the songwriters and publishers of the top ASCAP songs on the 2004 R&B, Hip-Hop, and Rap charts. Songwriters and super-producers Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis were honored with the distinguished ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Heritage Award, which is given to members who have had a major impact on the legacy of Rhythm and Soul music.

ASCAP’s Todd Brabec and Jeanie Weems, ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Heritage Award recipients Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Clarence Avant and ASCAP’s John LoFrumento

Grammy winning EMI Gospel recording artist Smokie Norful, who opened the show with a stirring performance of the song 'Power,' was presented with the Top Gospel Artist of the Year Award. Top Ringtone Song of the Year, sponsored by Jamster, went to 'In Da Club,' written by 50 Cent, Dr. Dre, and Mike Elizondo. ASCAP is the first U.S. performing rights organization to license and distribute royalties to its songwriter members for ringtone performances.

Among the honorees and notables attending the elegantly attired celebration were Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Jermaine Dupri, Alicia Keys, Paula Abdul, Clarence Avant, Big Boi, Jerome Benton, Terrell Carter, Chingy, Ciara, DJ Quik, Faith Evans, Free and A.J., Kevin Garnett, Everette Harp, India.Arie, Kenny Lattimore, Leon, Lil' Mo, Loon, MC Lyte, Marcus Miller, Chante Moore, Mya, Smokie Norful, Petey Pablo, Kim Porter, Kelly Price, Luis Resto, Holly Robinson Peete & Rodney Peete, Donnie Simpson, The Underdogs, The Youngbloodz, Timbaland, Twista, and Nancy Wilson.

With four award-winning songs apiece, Jermaine Dupri and Alicia Keys shared the enviable Songwriter of the Year Award. Recently recognized with the prestigious Golden Note Award at the 2005 ASCAP Pop Music Awards, Dupri has a keen eye for spotting talent and a natural instinct for writing and producing hit songs. He was honored for 'Burn,' 'Confessions Part II,' 'My Boo,' and 'U Should've Known Better.' As a multi-talented singer, songwriter, pianist, and producer, Keys possesses the innate ability to channel raw emotions into captivating songs that are both universal in sentiment and spirit. She was honored for the songs 'Diary,' 'If I Ain't Got You,' 'My Boo,' and 'You Don't Know My Name.' Alicia also collected the award for Top R&B/Hip-Hop Song of the Year for 'If I Ain't Got You.'

The special highlight of the evening was the presentation of the ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Heritage Award to Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis in recognition of their outstanding contributions as songwriters, producers, and musical innovators whose artistry and humanity continue to influence and inspire the world of music. Renowned industry executive and one of the most influential African Americans in entertainment business history, Clarence Avant (who foresaw the special leadership spirit in Jam & Lewis so many years ago when he asked them to think about who the next leader of the industry will be), joined ASCAP CEO John LoFrumento on stage to present the award. 'They have a historic place in the heart of ASCAP's catalogue, influencing music of all genres and reaching listeners around the globe,' mentioned LoFrumento.

In receiving ASCAP's Rhythm & Soul Heritage Award, Jam & Lewis joined an elite group of legendary artists who have received this coveted award, including Chaka Khan, Earth, Wind and Fire, Rick James, and Peabo Bryson. Jam & Lewis career has stood the test of time and it is easy to understand why. Jam stated, 'I think number one is we don't do anything alone. The partnership aspect has a lot to do with it.' Lewis added, 'Loving music and working with brilliant artists who inspire and drive the creativity.' After three decades of hit music, Jam & Lewis still have a lot of music inside of them and time will only unfold their next notes. Jam & Lewis have already delivered sixteen number one pop songs and twenty-five number one R&B songs.

Jam & Lewis have won an NAACP Image Award, an Essence Award, The ASCAP Golden Note, ASCAP Rhythm and Soul Songwriters of the Year from 1988 through 1992, 1994, and 1995, ASCAP Pop Songwriters of the Year in 1988 and 1992, and have their own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The Minneapolis, Minnesota natives have written for and/or produced a slate of hit makers including Boy II Men, Sting, Mary J. Blige, Elton John, Usher, Shaggy, Yolanda Adams, Herb Albert, Luther Vandross, Rod Stewart, New Edition, Human League, Earth, Wing and Fire, Mariah Carey, Robert Palmer, Gwen Stefani, Kanye West and Sounds of Blackness. They guided perhaps their best-known artist, Janet Jackson, into the stratosphere of superstardom with over 40 million records sold worldwide and over twenty gold and platinum singles.

As part of a musical tribute to Jam & Lewis, India.Arie performed the song 'Eyes of the Heart' from the 2003 movie Radio, which she co-wrote with Jam & Lewis, James Horner and Jim 'Big Jim' Wright. Music Director Michael Bearden lead an all-star band, which featured Everette Harp, Kelly Price, and Terrell Carter performing Jam & Lewis songs.

Publisher of the Year honors were presented for the twelfth time to EMI Music Publishing for their nineteen award-winning songs: 'Burn,' 'Confessions Part II,' 'Diary,' 'I'm Still In Love With You,' 'I Don't Wanna Know,' 'If I Ain't Got You,' 'My Boo,' 'My Place,' 'Runnin' (Dying To Live),' 'Slow Jamz,' 'Sorry 2004,' 'Splash Waterfalls,' 'Stand Up,' 'Tipsy,' 'U Should've Known Better,' 'Walked Outta Heaven,' 'Why?,' 'Yeah!,' and 'You Don't Know My Name.' LoFrumento presented the award to EMI Chairman and CEO Martin Bandier, who was joined on stage by members of his creative team.

Top Soundtrack Song of the Year honors went to 'Runnin' (Dying To Live)' from Tupac: Resurrection by Tupac featuring The Notorious B.I.G. written by Easy Mo Bee, Luis Resto, Tupac Shakur, and Notorious B.I.G. Terror Squad's 'Lean Back' written by Remy Ma and Scott Storch was named Top Rap Song of the Year. Sean Paul was named Top Reggae Artist of the Year, and was also honored for his award-winning son 'I'm Still In Love With You' featuring Sasha. Along with Dupri and Keys, who both had four winning songs, songwriters with multiple award-winning songs were La Marquis Jefferson, Ludicrous, Usher, and Kanye West with three each, and 50 Cent, Sean Garrett, Petey Pablo, Luis Resto, Scott Storch, Timbaland, and Twista with two each. Other winning songs were 'All Falls Down,' ''Damn!,' 'Dirt Off Your Shoulder,' 'Freek-A-Leek,' 'Goodies,' 'Headsprung,' 'Hotel,' 'Jesus Walks,' 'Locked Up,' 'Me, Myself & I,' 'One Call Away,' 'On Fire,' 'Overnight Celebrity,' 'Slow Jamz,' and 'The Way You Move.'

Established in 1914, ASCAP is the first and leading Performing Rights Organization in the United States, representing the world' largest repertory which totals over eight million copyrighted musical works of every style and genre from more than 210,000 composer, lyricist and music publisher members. Additionally, ASCAP represents the works in the repertories of seventy affiliated foreign performing rights organizations created by many thousand affiliated international members. ASCAP is committed to protecting the rights of its members by licensing and collecting royalties for the public performance of their copyrighted works, and then distributing these fees to the Society's members based on performances. Unlike the other American Performing Rights Organizations, ASCAP's Board of Directors is made up solely of writers and publishers, elected by the membership every two years.

ASCAP was the charming host and the music and entertainment luminaries that gathered were full of grace and the charisma that acknowledge the fact that they are here to uplift people through music and the Beverly Hilton was the perfect location.

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