Brad Paisley was named Songwriter/Artist of the Year and Ben Hayslip was honored as Songwriter of the Year at ASCAP’s 49th Annual Country Music Awards held November 6 in Nashville. Other big winners of the night were “The House That Built Me,” written by Allen Shamblin, for Country Song of the Year and Sea Gayle Music as Publisher of the Year. The ASCAP Awards honored the writers of country music’s most performed songs from April 2010 to March 2011 as well as Don Williams and The Civil Wars, who both received special ASCAP awards.
A total of 36 songs were honored as the most played on country radio and the writers of the Top 5 most performed songs gave performances throughout the show. Those performances included “All Over Me,” by Ben Hayslip and Josh Turner, “Gimmie That Girl,” by Ben Hayslip, Rhett Akins and Dallas Davidson, “The House That Built Me,” by Allen Shamblin, “The Man I Want To Be,” by Brett James, Tim Nichols and Chris Young and “Roll With It,” by Tony Lane and Johnny Park. Dierks Bentley, last year’s ASCAP Songwriter/Artist of the Year, opened the show with a performance of his current single, “Home.”
The night also included a special musical tribute to Don Williams. Keith Urban and Little Big Town paired for “We’ve Got a Good Fire Goin,’” while Lee Ann Womack performed “Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good.” Don surprised the audience with a performance as well before being honored with ASCAP’s Golden Note Award, which is presented to songwriters, composers and artists who have achieved extraordinary career milestones.
The Civil Wars were presented with the ASCAP Vanguard Award, which recognizes the impact of musical genres that help shape the future of American music. The ASCAP Global Impact Award, a special award given for a song that has significant impact on multiple formats throughout the year, was given to Josh Kear, Big Yellow Dog Publishing and Darth Buddha for Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now.”
ASCAP also honored 35 of the most performed songs on country radio, some of which were “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not” (Thompson Square), “This” (Darius Rucker), “Our Kind Of Love” (Lady Antebellum), “The Boys of Fall” (Kenny Chesney) “Unstoppable” (Rascal Flatts) and “Wrong Baby Wrong” (Martina McBride).