Smokey Robinson to Be Honored at 22nd Annual ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards

LOS ANGELES, CA and NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - May 19, 2009) - ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) will honor music legend Smokey Robinson with the prestigious ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Heritage Award during its 22nd Annual Rhythm & Soul Music Awards, it was announced today by President and Chairman Paul Williams. The invitation-only event will take place on June 26, 2009 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, California, and will also honor the songwriters and publishers of the most performed ASCAP songs on the 2008 R&B, hip-hop and rap charts.

The ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Heritage Award is given to ASCAP members who have had a major impact on the legacy of Rhythm and Soul music. Past honorees include Earth, Wind & Fire; Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis and Bill Withers.

"Smokey is one of the most gifted and influential artists of our time. His superb accomplishments as a songwriter and performer, a founding member of the Miracles and his association with Motown Records have helped write a significant and enduring chapter in American musical history," said Williams. "We are very pleased to pay tribute to Smokey by adding his name to the very elite group of ASCAP members who have received this honor."

William "Smokey" Robinson is one of the most significant and enduring songwriters and performers to have emerged from the early 1960s Motown explosion. Robinson and the vocal group he led, the Miracles, were among the most prolific hit makers on the Motown label from 1960 to 1972, scoring on the Pop and R&B charts with such classics as "Shop Around," "You've Really Got a Hold on Me," "The Tracks of My Tears," "Going to a Go-Go," "Tears of a Clown," "I Second That Emotion" and "Ooh, Baby, Baby," among many others. Robinson wrote or co-wrote nearly all of those songs, and wrote and produced many more hits for fellow Motown artists, including Marvin Gaye ("I'll Be Doggone," "Ain't That Peculiar"), Mary Wells ("My Guy," "You Beat Me to the Punch"), The Temptations ("The Way You Do the Things You Do," "My Girl") and the Marvelettes ("Don't Mess with Bill," "The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game"). As a solo artist, he was a mainstay of what became known as "The Quiet Storm" format and earned major hits as writer and performer of "Cruisin'" and "Being with You." He remains active as a touring and performing artist and has been honored with induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the ASCAP Founders Award, the Songwriters Hall of Fame Johnny Mercer Award, a Kennedy Center Honor, and two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame -- as a solo artist and a member of the Miracles.

The 22nd Annual Rhythm & Soul Music Awards celebration will also feature a special presentation of ASCAP's highly coveted Songwriter of the Year award to the songwriter with the most award-winning songs of 2008. Past recipients of this top honor include 50 Cent, Johntá Austin, Mary J. Blige, Kandi Burruss, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Dr. Dre, Jermaine Dupri, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Alicia Keys and Timbaland. Special awards will also be presented to Publisher of the Year, Top R&B/Hip-Hop Song, Top Rap Song and Top Gospel Song. The evening will feature performances by several award-winning songwriter/performers.

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Established in 1914, ASCAP is the first and leading U.S. Performing Rights Organization (PRO) representing the world's largest repertory totaling over 8.5 million copyrighted musical works of every style and genre from more than 350,000 songwriter, composer and music publisher members. ASCAP has representation arrangements with similar foreign organizations so that the ASCAP repertory is represented in nearly every country around the world where copyright law exists. ASCAP protects the rights of its members and foreign affiliates by licensing the public performances of their copyrighted works and distributing royalties based upon surveyed performances. ASCAP is the only American PRO owned and governed by its writer and publisher members.