ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, will present acclaimed songwriter and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member John Mellencamp with its prestigious Founders Award at the 33rd annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards on April 27. ASCAP will also recognize Walk the Moon, who garnered success this past year with their hit, “Shut Up and Dance,” with the ASCAP Vanguard Award. The exclusive, invitation-only gala, which celebrates the songwriters and publishers of ASCAP’s most performed pop songs of 2015, takes place at the Loews Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles, CA.
“For the last four decades, John Mellencamp has captured the American experience in his songs,” said ASCAP President Paul Williams. “His infectious melodies and compassionate lyrics, wrapped in workingman’s rock, crystallize life’s joys and struggles and illuminate the human condition. A national treasure, he’s also one of the truly great music creators that can make us care, move, clap and sing along.”
“It's an honor and an awesome feeling to be recognized by ASCAP and the music-making community,” said Nicholas Petricca of Walk the Moon. “Our fellow artists and those who surround and support us somehow create more and more stylish, original work each year, and we are very proud to receive this award in such an exciting time, among such prolific people.”
The ASCAP Founders Award goes to pioneering ASCAP songwriters who have made exceptional contributions to music by inspiring and influencing their fellow music creators. Past recipients include Ashford & Simpson, Burt Bacharach & Hal David, Jackson Browne, Elvis Costello, Billy Joel, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of KISS, Annie Lennox, Sir Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell, Tom Petty, Smokey Robinson, Carly Simon, Patti Smith, Steely Dan, Rod Stewart, James Taylor, Steven Tyler & Joe Perry (Aerosmith), Tom Waits, Ann & Nancy Wilson (Heart), Stevie Wonder and Neil Young.
The ASCAP Vanguard Award recognizes the impact of musical genres that help shape the future of American music. Previous ASCAP Vanguard Award honorees include The All-American Rejects, Arcade Fire, Band of Horses, Beastie Boys, Beck, Björk, Sara Bareilles, Diplo, fun., Jack Johnson, The Killers, Modest Mouse, The Strokes and St. Vincent.
John Mellencamp’s career in music, spanning more than 35 years, has seen him transition from pop star to one of the most highly regarded songwriters of a generation. The Voice of The Heartland continued to evolve artistically with Plain Spoken, Mellencamp’s 22nd full-length album.
Mellencamp is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a Grammy winner, a recipient of the John Steinbeck Award, ASCAP Foundation’s Champion Award, The Woody Guthrie Award and Americana Music Association's Lifetime Achievement Award. He is also a successful live concert performer. The social activism reflected in his songs helped catalyze Farm Aid, the concert series and organization that has addressed the struggle of American family farmers for more than 25 years.
Mellencamp recently completed an 80-city tour in North America and Canada that began in January 2015 and will see the artist hitting 13 all-new cities kicking off on April 1 in Tulsa. He continues to focus on another facet of his artistic expression: painting. His style has progressed over the years as evidenced by several gallery shows and published portfolios, and in recent years he has increased his output by completing over 100 new works. His pieces were shown in 2012 at the Tennessee State Museum in Nashville under the title Nothing Like I Planned: The Art Of John Mellencamp and, more recently at the Butler Institute of American Art in an exhibition entitled “The Paintings Of John Mellencamp.” “The Paintings of John Mellencamp” traveled to the Museum of Art-DeLand, Florida and Mellencamp’s art is at ACA Gallery in New York.
The unique instrumentation of his band and his poignant songs about everyday life in the American heartland, are widely credited with being the forbearer of the Americana/No Depression genre of rural-inflected music. An extraordinary collaboration 16 years in the making performed by an ensemble cast of 15 actors and a four-piece live band, comprised of members of John Mellencamp’s band is The Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, a musical with music and lyrics by Mellencamp, a libretto by author Stephen King and production by T Bone Burnett. He is currently working on a new album featuring Carlene Carter.
Walk the Moon
Formed in Cincinnati by singer/keyboardist Petricca, Walk the Moon quickly graduated from Ohio club scene favorites to build a devoted following on the strength of their ecstatic live show. More recently, their multi-format certified platinum No. 1 hit, “Shut Up And Dance,” from their new album, Talking is Hard, has turned their relentless touring machine into an ever-snowballing family of fans. The band has performed "Shut Up and Dance" on Late Night With Seth Meyers, Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and on The Today Show. The foursome also performed at the MTV Video Music Awards where they were nominated for Best Rock Video for “Shut Up and Dance,” and at the American Music Awards, where they were nominated for Favorite Pop/Rock Duo or Group, New Artist of the Year and Favorite Alternative Rock Artist. The band is currently nominated for an iHeart Radio Music Award for Best Duo/Group of the Year, Song of the Year and Alternative Rock Song of the Year for “Shut Up and Dance.”
The 33rd ASCAP Pop Music Awards precede the 11th annual ASCAP "I Create Music" EXPO, the only national conference dedicated to the craft and business of songwriting and composing. The EXPO takes place April 28 - 30, 2016 at the Loews Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles, CA.
For more information, visit ascap.com.