The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) hosted its 32nd annual ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards on Thursday, June 20, 2019 in Los Angeles. In celebration of its 60th anniversary, Motown Records received the ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Heritage Award. The award honors ASCAP members who have had a major impact on the legacy of Rhythm & Soul music. Previous recipients include Smokey Robinson, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Chaka Khan, Peabo Bryson, Earth, Wind & Fire, Rick James and Bill Withers.
ASCAP also honored trap music pioneer, actor and label head Tip “T.I.” Harris with the inaugural ASCAP Voice of the Culture Award, a special new honor created to celebrate ASCAP songwriters and artists who have had a major influence on music and culture.
“From its humble beginnings to its reputation as the birthplace of soul, funk and R&B, Motown Records has evolved into a legendary institution that is home to some of the greatest musical talents of the last century,” said ASCAP Chairman of the Board and President Paul Williams. “We are so pleased to celebrate Motown Records’ first 60 years with the ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Heritage Award.”
Continued Williams: “T.I. has conquered the worlds of music, TV and film, helping to popularize a new sub-genre of music in the process. His significant contributions to hip-hop music, support for other artists through his record label, philanthropy, community activism and memorable onscreen roles have had a profound impact on today’s music and culture. There is no one more deserving to receive the inaugural ASCAP Voice of the Culture Award.”
Motown Records, founded by music icon and ASCAP member Berry Gordy in 1959, created what came to be known as the “Motown Sound” in the ’60s: a distinctive musical style featuring tambourines, driving bass lines and gospel-influenced vocal harmonies that became synonymous with the Detroit studio where the songs were recorded. With singular talents that included Diana Ross, Lionel Richie, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and more, Motown became the most successful black-owned label for popular music. This year marks the label’s 60th anniversary and Motown artists will take the stage at the ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Awards to pay homage to the legendary record label.
Tip “T.I.” Harris established himself as one of rap’s greatest and most successful MCs during the early 2000s. He famously coined the term “trap music,” which is now a popular sub-genre of Southern hip-hop. As the CEO of Grand Hustle Records he has released 10 studio albums over the years, and earned eight ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Awards, three Grammys, 13 Billboard Music Awards and many other honors. T.I. is also a successful actor, having starred in blockbuster films such as ATL, American Gangster, Ant-Man, Takers and more.
T.I. has also taken an active role in community work through his non-profit, Harris Community Works (HCW), where he has led philanthropic and community transformation efforts throughout the City of Atlanta. Through HCW, he has supported countless philanthropic efforts including Colin Kaepernick’s Million Dollar Challenge, voting rights efforts that led to the largest voting turnout in Atlanta’s history, and servicing more than 7,000 seniors in need.
Other awards to be presented at the 2019 ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Awards include ASCAP Songwriter of the Year, Publisher of the Year, Top R&B/Hip-Hop Song, Top Rap Song and Top Gospel Song. The evening will feature live performances and presentations to ASCAP members, and attendees will include top names in the music and entertainment industry.
Motown is the presenting sponsor of the 2019 ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Awards. Other sponsors include CÎROC, Fender and M.A.C. makeup.
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 more than 700,000 members representing more than 11.5 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. www.ascap.com.