ASCAP kicked off their 55th annual country awards night with a performance of the most played song of 2016, Brett Young’s “I Can’t Sleep Without You.”
As the night went on special guests like Keith Urban and Vince Gill honored legend Rodney Crowell. Songwriters like Scooter Carusoe delivered their songs, and bands like Old Dominion played their chart toppers.
For a history making fifth time, Ashley Gorley won ASCAP’s coveted Songwriter of the Year award. Gorley gave a proverbial medal to everyone that supports those who write songs.
The event was held in the legendary Ryman auditorium as music and those that write it were honored with ribbons, medals and plaques.
Warner Chappell was awarded the Publisher of the Year award, again. “The best music publishers partner with their songwriters.”
It was a beautiful night of music in Music City, USA, that kicked off awards week. CMA awards will be a crowning moment for country music lovers.
Kelsea Ballerini received the Vanguard award and sang a stripped down version of, “In Between,” a song she wrote with the prolific Hillary Lindsey. She shared, “This is my first award as a songwriter and that’s my favorite part of what I do, and it always will be.” She went on to explain that even when the artist thing isn’t still a thing, she’ll be able to write songs.
Rodney Crowell, who was honored by a performance from Keith Urban and then two songs from Vince Gill who called him family, received his award and shared with the audience that, “I’ve had this suit since 1982, & I’ve only worn it three times. Here’s the kicker, it’s the suit John Lennon was wearing in a Hard Day’s Night.
Jimmy Webb played “By The Time I Get To Phoenix” in tribute to the great Glen Campbell. He compared being in Nashville to being at a revival meeting for families.
And Dierks Bentley‘s “Somewhere On a Beach,” won song of the year, just in time for winter to roll in.