• Notorious BIG Honored at ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards

    The late rapper Notorious B.I.G. and the production duo of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis were presented with some of ASCAP's most prestigious honors at the ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Awards on Thursday night. The 30th annual gala was again held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills and included several live performances and was attended by a who's who of artists and industry players.

    Biggie, born Christopher Wallace, was recognized with the ASCAP Founders Award in a ceremony that included a video tribute from Sean "Diddy" Combs, an intro from Wallace's sons, Justin and Christian, and an acceptance speech by his widow, Faith Evans. The tribute also included a battle between Biggie's DJ's Clark Kent and DJ Enuff.

    Previous recipients of the Founders Award, presented to creators who have made pioneering contributions to music, include Quincy Jones, Dr. Dre, Diddy, Jermaine Dupri, Berry Gordy Jr., Smokey Robinson and Stevie Wonder, among others.

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    Warner/Chappell Music CEO Jon Platt and trailblazing music exec Clarence Avant were on hand to present Jam & Lewis with the Voice of Music Award, presented to inspiring writers and artists. Fresh off their induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, alongside Jay-Z, the duo are best known for their career-spanning work with Janet Jackson, as well as for crafting hits for pop superstars including Usher and Mariah Carey.

    ASCAP also saluted the songwriters and publishers of the most-performed ASCAP songs on the 2015 R&B, hip-hop, rap and gospel charts. Sony/ATV Music earned publisher of the year, and Paul "Nineteen85" Jefferies and Allen Ritter tied for songwriter of the year honors.

    Genre-specific awards were broken down into three groups: R&B, rap and gospel: Rihanna's "Needed Me" (three co-writers and eight publishers) was awarded top R&B/Hip-Hop song; Drake's "Controlla" (eight co-writers and five publishers) earned top rap song; and Hezekiah Walker's "Better" (by Gabriel J Hatcher II, publisher Phatchordzproductions) won top gospel honors. (See full credits for these winning tracks below.)

    Other awarded songs on the night included "Formation," co-written by Beyonce and Mike WiLL Made-It, "Hello," written by Greg Kurstin for Adele, and Drake's "Hotline Bling," penned by co-songwriter of the year winner Paul "Nineteen85" Jefferies.

    The evening included live performances by H.E.R., Jeremih , Kyle and Tasha Cobbs. Attendees included ASCAP president Paul Williams, French Montana, Remy Ma, Papoose, PartyNextDoor, 2 Chainz, Nicci Gilbert, Mike Will Made-It, Yo Gotti, Anthony Brown, Stacy Barthe, Majid Jordan, DJ Drama, Yung Berg, Goapele, James Fauntleroy, Mona Scott-Young and Keyshia Cole.