NASHVILLE (CelebrityAccess) — The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers hosted its 54th Annual ASCAP Country Music Awards with songwriter Ashley Gorley taking top honors.
Gorley won Country Music Songwriter of the Year after penning seven chart-topping songs in 2016, including Kick the Dust Up and Little Bit of You. This is the third consecutive year that Gorley has won Songwriter of the Year and the fourth time in his career.
In a surprise appearance, John “Coach Cal” Calipari, the head coach of the University of Kentucky Wildcats men’s basketball team, introduced a video tribute to Gorley, who happens to be a passionate Wildcats basketball fan. After the video salute from Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan and Cole Swindell, Trace Adkins performed one of Gorley’s first #1 hits, “You’re Gonna Miss This.” ASCAP President and award-winning songwriter Paul Williams presented Gorley with the award.
Chris Stapleton was honored with the ASCAP Vanguard Award, which recognizes the impact of songwriters on genres that are shaping the future of music. The award was presented by ASCAP Senior Creative Director Mike Sistad, an early Stapleton supporter. As well, Bluegrass pioneer Ricky Skaggs was preesented with the ASCAP Founders Award. Garth Brooks performed “Highway 40 Blues;” Alison Krauss, with Suzanne and Sidney Cox of the Cox Family, performed “Waitin’ for the Sun to Shine;” and Peter Frampton and Gordon Kennedy performed “My Cup Runneth Over.”
The ASCAP Country Music Awards at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville on October 31st.