ASCAP’s 50th Annual Country Music Awards

Ben Hayslip performs at the ASCAP Awards. Photo Credit: Dipti Vaidya / The Tennessean
Ben Hayslip performs at the ASCAP Awards. Photo Credit: Dipti Vaidya / The Tennessean

Ben Hayslip Named Songwriter of the Year 

 at 50th Annual ASCAP Country Music Awards

Bob McDill, Lyle Lovett, Brad Paisley, Eric Paslay, Terry Sawchuk,
and Sony/ATV/EMI Music Publishing Among Top Honorees

ASCAP hosted its 50th Annual Country Music Awards on October 29th, 2012, in the Tennessee Ballroom at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Resort. The writers of country music’s most performed songs of the period between April 2011 and March 2012 were honored before an audience of many of Nashville’s most distinguished songwriters, top country stars and music industry leaders. Special tribute was paid to Bob McDill, who was presented with the ASCAP Golden Note Award, and Lyle Lovett, who received the ASCAP Creative Voice Award.
The evening’s top honors were awarded to the following:
ASCAP Country Music Songwriter of the Year: Ben Hayslip
ASCAP Country Music Songwriter/Artist of the Year: Brad Paisley
ASCAP Country Music Song of the Year: “Barefoot Blue Jean Night,” 
written by Eric Paslay and Terry Sawchuk; published by Cal IV Entertainment
ASCAP Country Music Song of the Year: “Honey Bee,” written by Ben Hayslip; published by Warner/Chappell and This Music
ASCAP Country Music Publisher of the Year: Sony/ATV/EMI Music Publishing

The ASCAP Partners in Music Award was presented to Sirius XM Satellite Radio by ASCAP Executive Vice President of Licensing, Vincent Candilora, along with ASCAP members and special guests, Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood.
A total of 35 song honors were handed out, interspersed with very special performances by the writers of the top five most performed songs. Performances included “Don’t You Wanna Stay,” by songwriters Andy Gibson, Paul Jenkins and Jason Sellers (recorded by Jason Aldean with Kelly Clarkson); “I Don’t Want This Night to End,” (Luke Bryan) performed by songwriter Ben Hayslipwith Rhett Akins and Dallas Davidson (The Peach Pickers); “God Gave Me You,” by songwriter-artist Dave Barnes and Ed Cash (recorded by Blake Shelton); “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” by songwriters Eric Paslay and Terry Sawchuk (recorded by Jake Owen); and “Honey Bee,”performed by songwriter Ben Hayslip with Rhett Akins (recorded by Blake Shelton). The show kicked off with ASCAP songwriter Kip Moore, who performed the song “Crazy One More Time” from his current album, Up All Night.
ASCAP President and Chairman of the Board Paul Williams and ASCAP Publisher Board memberDean Kay presented Bob McDill with the ASCAP Golden Note Award, which heralds McDill for his literary, eloquent lyrics and heartfelt melodies, and an exceptional career that has earned him an extraordinary place in country music history. The ASCAP Golden Note Award is presented to songwriters, composers and artists who have achieved extraordinary career milestones; past recipients include Don Williams, Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, Reba McEntire and JD Souther, among others.
A special musical tribute to McDill included performances by Chris and Morgane Stapleton, who honored him with their rendition of ” Amanda;” Josh Kelley, who performed “Good Ole Boys Like Me;” and Jessi Alexander and Jon Randall, backed by their band 18 South, performed “Don’t Close Your Eyes.”
ASCAP Executive Vice President of Membership Randy Grimmett presented the ASCAP Creative Voice Award to honoree Lyle Lovett. The award is given to ASCAP members whose significant career achievements are equally informed by their creative spirit and by their contributions to the role that a music creator can play in the greater community.
A special musical tribute to Lovett featured Guy Clark, who performed “The Waltzing Fool;” Robert Earl Keen with “The Front Porch Song;” and Sam Bush and Jon Randall, who performed “If I Had A Boat.”
Williams and ASCAP Senior Creative Director Michael Martin presented Ben Hayslip with his second ASCAP Country Music Songwriter of the Year award. Hayslip was responsible for penning four of the most performed songs of the past year: “Honey Bee” (Blake Shelton), “I Don’t Want This Night To End” (Luke Bryan), “I’m Gonna Love You Through It” (Martina McBride) and “This Ole Boy” (Craig Morgan).
Collecting ASCAP Country Music Song of the Year honors were songwriters Eric Paslay and Terry Sawchuk, and publishers Cal IV Entertainment for “Barefoot Blue Jean Night,” and songwriter Ben Hayslip and publishers Warner/Chappell Music Publishing and This Music for “Honey Bee.”  The awards were presented by Grimmett, Martin and ASCAP Senior Creative Director LeAnn Phelan.
Martin and Phelan, joined once again by Williams, presented Brad Paisley with his third ASCAP Country Music Songwriter/Artist of the Year award. He first won the award in 2004 and then again just last year. No stranger to ASCAP Most Performed Song awards – he had already won 30 prior to this evening – Paisley adds three more this year with “Camouflage,” “Old Alabama” and “Remind Me.”
This year’s ASCAP Country Music Publisher of the Year honors went to Sony/ATV/EMI Music Publishing, who had nine award-winning songs: “Bait A Hook,” “Camouflage, “Don’t You Wanna Stay,” “I Got You,” “I Won’t Let Go,” “Remind Me,” “Tomorrow,” “You” and “You Gonna Fly.” ASCAP Publisher Board member Barry Coburn joined Grimmett on stage to present the award to Sony/ATV/EMI, accepted by Troy Tomlinson and the Nashville team.
Additional songwriters and artists in attendance included Dierks Bentley, Deana Carter, actor and songwriter-artist John Corbett, Billy Currington, Gloriana, Steve Holy, actors Charles Esten and Jonathan Jackson (“Nashville”), Brett James, Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood, Love and Theft, Justin Moore, David Nail, Jerrod Niemann, The Peach Pickers, Mike Reid, Darius Rucker, JD Souther and more.
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a professional membership organization of songwriters, composers and music publishers of every kind of music. ASCAP’s mission is to license and promote the music of its members and foreign affiliates, obtain fair compensation for the public performance of their works and to distribute the royalties that it collects based upon those performances. ASCAP members write the world’s best-loved music and ASCAP has pioneered the efficient licensing of that music to hundreds of thousands of enterprises who use it to add value to their business – from bars, restaurants and retail, to radio, TV and cable, to Internet, mobile services and more. The ASCAP license offers an efficient solution for businesses to legally perform ASCAP music while respecting the right of songwriters and composers to be paid fairly. With 450,000 members representing more than 8.5 million copyrighted works, ASCAP is the worldwide leader in performance royalties, service and advocacy for songwriters and composers, and the only American performing rights organization (PRO) owned and governed by its writer and publisher members.
Nashville, Tenn., October 30, 2012

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