The 55th Annual ASCAP Awards were held at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium on Monday night, November 6, and was a musical event filled with country music legends as well as new star power in the making.
The night featured many honorees, including Kelsea Ballerini, who won the Vanguard Award, which goes to ASCAP members who are shaping the future of American music. Other award winners include Old Dominion's Matthew Ramsey, who was named Songwriter-Artist of the Year and Rodney Crowell, who was given the Founders Award. Keith Urban and Vince Gill were on hand to help honor Crowell as they performed three of his biggest hits, including “You Won," “'Til I Gain Control Again" and “Oklahoma Borderline."
Hit songwriter Ashley Gorley made history when he took home for the fourth consecutive year the performing rights organization's Songwriter of the Year Award. Gorley has won the award five times, which is a first for an ASCAP country songwriter. Gorley has worked on many country, hits such as Jon Pardi's “Dirt on My Boots" and Brad Paisley's“Today."
"It's amazing," Gorley said about his multiple Songwriter of the Year honors. “There's so many people I wish I could write more like that are out in the audience tonight."
Dierks Bentley's chart-topper “Somewhere on a Beach," written by Dave Kuncio and Josh Mirenda, was also awarded Song of the Year. The ASCAP's Top 5 Country Music Songs of the Year included "Lights Come On" by songwriters Jimmy Robbins and Jordan Schmidt, “May We All" by songwriter Jamie Moore, “Snapback" by Old Dominion and “Wanna Be That Song" by songwriter Scooter Carusoe.