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Dierks Bentley, “Need You Now” Earn Songwriting Honors
Posted By Tom Roland On September 15, 2010 @ 12:31 PM In Country Music News | Comments Disabled
Dierks Bentley  won Songwriter/Artist of the Year, Josh Kear  took Song of the Year for co-writing “Need You Now” with Lady Antebellum , and Brett James walked off with Songwriter of the Year during the star-studded ASCAP Country Music Awards for songwriters Tuesday at Nashville’s War Memorial Auditorium.
Dierks picked up the Songwriter/Artist trophy after two of his songs — “Sideways” and “I Wanna Make You Close Your Eyes” — were recognized among the performing rights agency’s most performed songs of the year.
Dierks played a bluegrass version of “Sideways” during the two-hour presentation in which each of ASCAP’s Top 5 songs was rendered live. Chris Young  sang “Gettin’ You Home (The Black Dress Song),” songwriter David Lee Murphy played “Big Green Tractor,” Darius Rucker  offered “Alright” and Josh Kear teamed with Lady A for a dramatic acoustic version of “Need You Now.” Josh was cheered heavily by the songwriting community when he sang some of the lines that Charles Kelley usually sings — Josh proved he was an admirable singer in addition to being an ace songwriter.
Not that he’s completely able to evaluate his own writing. When Josh created “Need You Now” with Lady Antebellum, it was actually the second song they wrote that day. He told his publisher it was a fairly dark piece and that the upbeat first song was much more likely to work.
“I stopped pretending like I know anymore, ‘cause I don’t know,” he said on the red carpet. “Every now and then, I [write] one that I really love, but half the time those aren’t the [hits].”
The place was teeming with stars, including Kellie Pickler , Love And Theft , Gloriana , Bucky Covington , David Nail , Joey + Rory , Radney Foster  and keyboard player Jonathan Cain, of the rock band Journey. And a raft of familiar songs earned honors for their writers, including “Barefoot And Crazy,” “Small Town USA,” “I’m Alive,” “Hillbilly Bone” and “Why Don’t We Just Dance.”
Brett James wrote five of those winning titles: the Carrie Underwood  hit “Cowboy Casanova,” Tim McGraw ’s “It’s A Business Doing Pleasure With You,” Kenny Chesney ’s “Out Last Night,” Rascal Flatts ’ “Summer Nights” and Jason Aldean ’s “The Truth.”
It was a particularly rewarding night for the writers, who often don’t get credit publicly for their work. Fans frequently believe the artist wrote all the songs they sing, so the ASCAP Awards are one of the few places where the writers are honored for creating the words and the melodies that make the stars famous. Getting that recognition from their peers is particularly special.
“It’s never old hat,” said Brett, who’s won numerous ASCAP awards before. “I was in Nashville writin’ songs fulltime for nine years before I ever got invited to this party, so I never forget. Every writer wants to be in this room tonight, that’s all there is to it. And I’m just happy to be in the room.”
Not that it’s without pressure — particularly for the people who performed.
The audience included the likes of Alan Jackson  and Darryl Worley , not to mention such legendary songwriters as Paul Williams (“We’ve Only Just Begun”), Jimmy Webb (“Wichita Lineman”) and Roger Greenaway (“Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress”).
“That’s always crazy,” Darius said. “Like at the CMAs, ACMs — when you do all those shows and you’re playin’, you look out there, there’s George Strait  just lookin’ at you. That’s always pretty nerve-racking.”
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URLs in this post:
 Image: http://blog.gactv.com/blog/2010/09/15/dierks-bentley-need-you-now-earn-songwriting-honors/ascapawards_2010_h/
 Dierks Bentley: http://www.gactv.com/gac/ar_az_dierks_bentley
 Josh Kear: http://blog.gactv.com/blog/2010/01/14/lady-antebellum-cops-no-1-at-cabana/
 Lady Antebellum: http://www.gactv.com/gac/ar_az_lady_antebellum
 Chris Young: http://www.gactv.com/gac/ar_az_chris_young
 Darius Rucker: http://www.gactv.com/gac/ar_az_darius_rucker
 Kellie Pickler: http://www.gactv.com/gac/ar_az_kellie_pickler
 Love And Theft: http://www.gactv.com/gac/ar_az_love_and_theft
 Gloriana: http://www.gactv.com/gac/ar_az_gloriana
 Bucky Covington: http://www.gactv.com/gac/ar_az_bucky_covington
 David Nail: http://www.gactv.com/gac/ar_az_david_nail
 Joey + Rory: http://www.gactv.com/gac/ar_az_joey_and_rory
 Radney Foster: http://www.gactv.com/gac/ar_az_radney_foster
 Carrie Underwood: http://www.gactv.com/gac/ar_az_carrie_underwood
 Tim McGraw: http://www.gactv.com/gac/ar_az_tim_mcgraw
 Kenny Chesney: http://www.gactv.com/gac/ar_az_kenny_chesney
 Rascal Flatts: http://www.gactv.com/gac/ar_az_rascal_flatts
 Jason Aldean: http://www.gactv.com/gac/ar_az_jason_aldean/
 Alan Jackson: http://www.gactv.com/gac/ar_az_alan_jackson
 Darryl Worley: http://www.gactv.com/gac/ar_az_darryl_worley
 George Strait: http://www.gactv.com/gac/ar_az_george_strait
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