The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) will honor Stevie Wonder with the inaugural ASCAP American Troubadour Award during its annual "Songwriter Night" to be held on Capitol Hill this evening. The prestigious award is being presented to Mr. Wonder in recognition of his music, activism and leadership, which have been a force for positive change. ASCAP President and Chairman Marilyn Bergman will host the invitation-only reception and dinner in The Cannon Caucus Room, Cannon House Office Building in Washington, D.C. The event will be attended by Members of Congress and Administration officials and will be highlighted by a musical tribute to Mr. Wonder featuring friends and admirers from the songwriting and performing world, including: India.Arie, Ashford & Simpson, Tony Bennett, Jon Faddis, Wyclef Jean, Wynonna Judd, Chaka Khan, Brian McKnight, Joan Osborne, Dianne Reeves and Smokey Robinson.
With 26 Grammy Awards to his credit, induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and scores of chart-topping albums and singles, Stevie Wonder is inarguably one of the great forces in American music. A musical prodigy, he emerged as Little Stevie Wonder, one of the early Motown stars, in 1963. Since then he has contributed many songs which have become embedded in the nation's musical consciousness, including: I Was Made to Love Her, Uptight, My Cherie Amour, You Are the Sunshine of My Life, Superstition, Living for the City, Sir Duke and the Academy Award-winning I Just Called to Say I Love You, among many more.
Commenting on the award to Stevie Wonder, Marilyn Bergman said, "Stevie is a consummate songwriter and musician whose art and life reflect a generosity of spirit coupled with a desire for social justice and peace. He is a uniquely gifted music creator and human being and we are privileged to honor him and have so many distinguished performers on hand to celebrate him with their own versions of his timeless songs."
ASCAP is, and has always been, the pioneer in fighting for the rights of music creators in Congress and in the courts. The 93-year-old performing rights society leads efforts to protect its members' rights by vigorously opposing legislation that is harmful to creators, and by initiating changes to the Copyright Law that will benefit creators. ASCAP keeps its members informed of legislative matters that affect them and encourages their involvement in these efforts. One way ASCAP does this is with their grassroots efforts, which brings ASCAP members face to face with their representatives in Congress so that they can articulate the importance of copyright protection to their livelihood and lives.
"ASCAP's 'Songwriter Night' is held each year on Capitol Hill as a reminder to lawmakers about the importance and value of the rights of songwriters and composers. There is no better way to do that than by creating an emotional connection with the power of music," said Marilyn Bergman. Established in 1914, ASCAP is the first and leading U.S. Performing Rights Organization representing the world's largest repertory totaling over 8.5 million copyrighted musical works of every style and genre from more than 275,000 composer, lyricist and music publisher members. ASCAP has representation arrangements with over 90 music rights organizations such that the ASCAP repertory is represented in nearly every country around the world. ASCAP protects the rights of its members and foreign affiliates by licensing the public performances of their copyrighted works and distributing royalties based upon surveyed performances. ASCAP is the only American Performing Rights Organization owned and governed by its writer and publisher members. www.ascap.com