The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) will honor Grammy-nominated musician, DJ and producer Diplo with the ASCAP Vanguard Award during its 30th annual Pop Music Awards. The invitation-only gala will take place on April 17th, 2013 at the Loews Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles, California. The awards ceremony will also celebrate the songwriters and publishers of ASCAP's most performed pop songs of 2012.
The ASCAP Vanguard Award recognizes the impact of musical genres that help shape the future of American music. Past ASCAP Vanguard Award honorees include The All-American Rejects, Arcade Fire, Band of Horses, Beastie Boys, Beck, Björk, Jack Johnson, The Killers, Modest Mouse and The Strokes.
Diplo commented: "I'm honored to receive the Vanguard Award from ASCAP. I've always been driven to work with artists and genres that are 'weird.' It's still amazing to me that those ideas have translated into something larger than I imagined. I hope to continue this throughout the rest of my career."
Diplo (real name Wesley Pentz) is a Grammy-nominated producer known for his use of dancehall, dubstep, and baile funk. His 2004 debut album, Florida, received much praise from the underground community and caught the attention of then-new act M.I.A. Later that same year, the two partnered to release a mixtape (praised by The New York Times and Pitchfork Media as "Album of the Year"), further boosting Diplo's reputation as a musical trendspotter who brought global sounds from distant corners of the world to the eyes and ears of the blogosphere, and ultimately, to the dancefloor. Diplo continued to work with M.I.A. to create the Grammy-nominated track "Paper Planes," which hit #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and sold more than 3 million copies. In 2006, Diplo founded record label Mad Decent to serve as a showcasing, which has since released music from a dynamic range of artists, including Baauer, Santigold, Peter Bjorn & John, Rusko, Lil' Jon, Gucci Mane, Dillon Francis and more. Mad Decent's early release of Brazilian group Bonde do Role helped define the genre of baile funk in America. Presently, Diplo continues to secure credits with big names like Justin Bieber, Chris Brown, Beyonce, Shakira, Lil Wayne, No Doubt, Bruno Mars, Azealia Banks, Robyn, Usher and Snoop Dogg. Additional collaboration and remix credits include Tiesto, Skrillex, Beck, Radiohead, Laidback Luke, La Roux, Kelly Rowland, Britney Spears, Sleigh Bells and T.I., among others. Diplo also has a successful project called Major Lazer -- best-known for its hit single "Pon de Floor" -- which is scheduled to release a new album in April. In 2012, Diplo released 128 Beats Per Minute, a book that illustrates the cultures and scenes from his daily global journeys.
ASCAP will also honor the songwriters and publishers of the most performed songs of 2012 at the ceremony. Top awards will be given out for Songwriter of the Year, Song of the Year and Publisher of the Year. As was previously announced, iconic Aerosmith rock stars Steven Tyler and Joe Perry will receive the prestigious ASCAP Founders Award at the ceremony.