The 27th annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards featured a special performance by Smith, who performed with her band – Lenny Kaye, Jay Dee Daugherty and Tony Shanahan – and picked up the Founders Award for being “a songwriter, poet, trailblazer, and rock icon whose creative genius and rock ‘n’ roll spirit will continue to inspire generations to come.”
Previous recipients of the Founders Award, which is given to songwriters and composers who have made pioneering contributions to music by “inspiring and influencing their fellow music creators,” include Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne, Elvis Costello, Heart’s Ann and Nancy Wilson, Billy Joel, Annie Lennox, Sir Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell, Smokey Robinson, Tom Waits and Neil Young.
Other honorees taking the stage to perform in front of an audience of more than 700 songwriters, recording artists and music publishers included Mraz (who picked up Song of the Year for “I’m Yours”), Flo Rida (“Right Round”), All-American Rejects (“Gives You Hell”) andJessi Alexander (singing her award-winning “The Climb,” a smash for Miley Cyrus).
Songwriter of the Year went to pop mastermind Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald, the man behind monster hits by Britney Spears, Avril Lavigne, Kelly Clarkson, Flo Rida and Miley Cyrus. Of course it’s his most recent songwriting juggernaut, Ke$ha’s “Tik Tok,” that’s been smashing chart records right and left.
Also on hand to pick up the Vanguard Award, in recognition of the impact of musical genres that help to “shape the future of American music,” was Las Vegas quartet The Killers.
A complete list of winning songs and songwriters is available at ASCAP.com.