NASHVILLE (CelebrityAccess) The stars of country music gathered for the 56th annual American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Country Music Awards on Monday, Nov. 12, at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Nashville.
The writers and publishers of country music’s most-performed songs of the past year were honored before an invitation-only audience of notable Nashville songwriters, top country artists and music industry leaders.
Hitmaker Ashley Gorley continues to firmly establish himself among country’s all-time most successful songwriters, taking home the ASCAP Country Music Songwriter of the Year for a remarkable sixth time in his career, for six chart-topping songs (“A Girl Like You,” “Black,” “Do I Make You Wanna,” “Fix a Drink,” “Marry Me,” “Unforgettable”). He remains the only ASCAP songwriter to achieve this feat in the country music genre. ASCAP Chairman of the Board and President Paul Williams and Dove Award-winning producer and songwriter Jesse Frasure presented Gorley with his award. Special congratulatory greetings were sent via video by Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley.
Grammy, CMA, ACM, AMA and Billboard Award-winning artist and songwriter Lee Ann Womack received the prestigious ASCAP Golden Note Award and was honored in song by some of the most respected songwriter-artists in country music. Chris Stapleton delivered a thrilling “Does My Ring Burn Your Finger,” Alison Krauss offered a heart-wrenching “A Little Past Little Rock,” and Buddy Miller performed the bittersweet “Don’t Tell Me.” Paul Williams and special guest presenter Carly Pearce presented the award to Womack. The ASCAP Golden Note Award is presented to songwriters, composers and artists who have achieved extraordinary career milestones. Previous Golden Note recipients include Don Williams, Garth Brooks, Kenny Rogers, Lindsey Buckingham, Lionel Richie, Alan Jackson, Reba McEntire and JD Souther, among others.
Sam Hunt and co-writers Zach Crowell and Josh Osborne performed their crossover, record-breaking hit, “Body Like a Back Road,” which was named ASCAP Country Music Song of the Year. As previously announced, Brett Young was named ASCAP Country Music Songwriter-Artist of the Year for his two chart-topping hits, “In Case You Didn’t Know” and “Like I Loved You.” Young is currently nominated for the CMA Awards New Artist of the Year, following his 2018 ACM New Male Vocalist of the Year win and multiple nominations from Billboard, CMT and Teen Choice Awards.
Guests were also treated to performances of two other top ASCAP country music songs: “Small Town Boy,” performed by songwriters Ben Hayslip and Kyle Fishman and artists Dustin Lynch and Rhett Akins; and “What Ifs,” performed by Trace Adkins.
The Cadillac Three got the evening off to a rousing start with a performance of their new single, “Hard Out Here for a Country Boy.”
ASCAP Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Matthews presented the ASCAP Country Music Publisher of the Year Award to Warner/Chappell Music Publishing EVP Ben Vaughn. Warner/Chappell published 19 of the most-performed ASCAP country songs of the past year and earned the top publisher award for the sixth consecutive year.
For a full list of 2018 ASCAP Country Music Awards Winners, visit www.ascap.com/countryawards18.