One of the evening’s highlights was a special tribute to hip-hop pioneer Dr. Dre, who was honored with ASCAP’s Founders Award in recognition of “his achievements as a producer, rapper, entrepreneur and icon whose creative genius continues to shape the course of music.” To celebrate the legendary producer, Kid Capri performed a DJ set chronicling his career, and surprise guest Eminem shared some personal remarks and co-presented the award with ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams.
More on the awards below.
The ASCAP Founders Award is among the most prestigious honors that ASCAP gives to songwriters and composers who have made pioneering contributions to music by inspiring and influencing their fellow music creators. Each recipient is a musical innovator who possesses a unique style of creative genius that will enrich generations to come. Past recipients include Garth Brooks, Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, Smokey Robinson, Paul McCartney, Ashford & Simpson, Patti Smith, and Berry Gordy Jr. and Motown Industries.
Ne-Yo was honored for “Mad,” “Miss Independent” and the bonus track “She Got Her Own” from his platinum-selling album Year of the Gentleman, as well as for three songs that he penned for other artists — “Epiphany (I’m Leaving)” by Chrisette Michelle, “Knock You Down” by Kerri Hilson featuring Kanye West and Ne-Yo, and “Spotlight” by Jennifer Hudson. This is Ne-Yo’s first time being named Songwriter of the Year.
C. “Tricky” Stewart & The-Dream were honored for “Blame It” by Jamie Foxx featuring T-Pain, “Just Like Me” by Jamie Foxx featuring T.I., “Rockin’ That Thang” by The-Dream, “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” by Beyoncé, “Throw It In The Bag” by Fabolous featuring The-Dream and “Trading Places” by Usher.
Atlanta rapper T.I. presented the Song of the Decade Award to fellow Atlantans Johntá Austin, Jermaine Dupri and Manuel Seal for their work on Mariah Carey’s massive hit, “We Belong Together.” The song topped the Billboard charts, won two Grammy Awards for Best R&B Song and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, and was named ASCAP Pop Song of the Year in 2006.