The 55th Annual ASCAP Country Music Awards in Nashville at the legendary auditorium was an event of country legends and legends in the making.
Americana and country pioneer Rodney Crowell was honored with the ASCAP Founders Award as Keith Urban and Vince Gill were on hand to perform three of his biggest hits– “You Won,” “‘Til I Gain Control Again” and “Oklahoma Borderline.”
Ashley Gorley was crowned ASCAP Country Music Songwriter of the Year for an unprecedented fifth time for his nine award-winning songs. Kelsea Ballerini earned the ASCAP Vanguard Award and treated the crowd to “In Between” from her brand new album, Unapologetically. Songwriter-Artist of the Year honors went to Matthew Ramsey, for the two songs he recorded with his band Old Dominion (“Snapback” and “Song for Another Time”) and his hit for Sam Hunt, “Make You Miss Me.”
Ramsey said that ASCAP played a big role in his songwriting career, as they were the ones who helped get a plan together to get his music out there.
Dierks Bentley’s “Somewhere on a Beach,” written by Dave Kuncio and Josh Mirenda was named Song of the Year. The star-studded audience also enjoyed performances of the rest of ASCAP’s Top 5 country music songs of the year: “Lights Come On” by songwriters Jimmy Robbins and Jordan Schmidt; “May We All” by songwriter Jamie Moore; “Snapback” by Old Dominion; and “Wanna Be That Song” by songwriter Scooter Carusoe.
Warner/Chappell Music Publishing was named ASCAP Publisher of the Year Award, for publishing a record-setting 24 of the most-performed ASCAP country songs of the year.