Elizabeth Matthews, ASCAP Chief Executive Officer and \ champion for the rights of music creators, was honored Sunday night, October 29, at the annual Songwriters of North America (SONA) Warrior Awards gala in West Hollywood.
At the event, ASCAP Chairman of the Board and President Paul Williams and legendary songwriters and producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis lauded Matthews’s achievements and hit songwriter MoZella performed “Wrecking Ball” (all are ASCAP members). Video tributes to Matthews featured music industry giants Stephen Schwartz, NE-YO, Marcus Miller, Desmond Child, Jon Platt and Ashley Gorley among many others.
Matthews commented, “To be recognized by SONA means the world to me. I know that songwriters are the true musical warriors–unbelievably brave and remaining strong in the face of uncertainty every day as new technology challenges their livelihoods. Yet, songwriters are still able to remain vulnerable and go deep creatively, opening their hearts to write the music that we all love. I am constantly inspired by songwriters and it has been an honor of a lifetime to work for and alongside music creators.”
The SONA Warrior Awards celebrate the immense talent and hard work of individuals known for their high-profile accomplishments within the music industry, while honoring their tireless efforts advocating for songwriters’ rights.
As Chief Executive Officer of ASCAP, Matthews has worked with top music licensees in streaming, radio, television and more to secure higher royalty rates for music creators, worked tirelessly to advocate for their rights on Capitol Hill, and dedicated substantial resources that put ASCAP at the forefront of shaping the future of music and AI while protecting the rights of creators.
The 2023 SONA Warrior Awards also honored:
· Songwriter Justin Tranter, who has advocated for the LGBTQ+ community and worked with stars such as Julia Michaels, Selena Gomez, Britney Spears, Gwen Stefani, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and many more, for making revolutionary advancements in the music business
· Country artist and podcast host Rissi Palmer for her talent, resilience and leadership
· Late songwriter Allee Willis, famously known for the ‘Friends’ theme, Earth, Wind & Fire’s “September” and many more, to honor her legacy and impact made across genres
The event was hosted by songwriters Bonnie McKee and Shane Stevens.